Tunes that are centuries-old often make for entertaining bedfellows in present-day settings. Here, a French Christmas carol written in the 1720s (Pat-a-pan), is playfully quoted and developed in the context of a contemporary rhythm setting. The result is Brian Slawson’s Fife & Drum.
Written in common pop music form, it opens with a simple drum groove complimented by a catchy bass pattern played by the timpani and bass marimba. A modified quote from the traditional French carol serves as a verse, punctually heading toward a blunt stop-time chorus.
Young players will be highlighted by way of attainable, syncopated lines that sound spontaneous as if soloing, while also given enough repetition to allow the piece to come together quickly. While the piece is based on the French carol, it will be a fun, accessible piece any time of year!