The solos in this collection were inspired by Robert Goute and his four volume Le Tambour d’Ordonnance. Goute joined the famed Musique de l’Air (Air Force Band) of Paris at the age of eighteen, and eventually became the Head Drummer. He served in the organization from 1938 to 1970.
In Le Tambour d”Ordonnance Goute offers instructive exercises (Volumes 1 and 2) as well as advanced compositions from a variety of composers (Volumes 3 and 4). He codified a single system of notation for traditional figures that had previously been written a myriad of ways. I have used the notational system proposed by Goute (right hand below the line, left hand above) and, where possible, have used his shorthand for traditional figures such as La Diane and Le Rigodon.
These solos, although original, have all been influenced by the traditional French military drumming repertoire. Solos IV, VI, and IX are inspired by “La Générale de la Garde Français” (composed in 1704 for winds and percussion by André Danican Philidor for the court at Versailles under Louis XIV), “La Retraite de Pied Ferme” (also known as the Tattoo), “La Générale” under Louis XVI, as well as the rhythmic ideas of La Diane, Le Rigodon, and the “Marches de la Légion de la Garde Républicaine” (1882). In addition to Goute, composers who have influenced my writing here include Alexandre Raynaud, Lucien Vernier, and Guy LeFèvre.
It is my hope that the ancient and modern influences at play in this book will work well together, with foundational elements of French drumming from Versailles in 1684 paired with concepts of 2020. The notes preceding each solo will describe the inspiration and source material for the pieces. I hope you enjoy them!