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Tricky Biscuits

Composer: Bent Lylloff

Instrument: Snare Drum Exercise Book

Level: unknown

Published: 2007

Price: €28.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • Bent Lylloff had one of the biggest profiles in the world of Scandinavian percussion. During his impressive career as a performer and teacher, he often encountered complex rhythms and recognized the technical and notational challenges they presented to students. He saw a need for a set of special exercises that would prepare them to meet these challenges. The exercises presented in this book are the result. They remained unpublished until the publication of this edition.

      While these exercises/etudes are short, they are challenging on many musical levels. How they sounded to the listener as a piece of music, rather than how complicated the rhythms were or how they were notated, most concerned Bent. He encouraged his students to find the musical idea inherent in each exercise and to transcend the technical obstacles and make the music their own. He intended that the difficult notation of these pieces, while not always at first seeming to be logical, would inspire players to interpret the music in innovative ways.

      Bent purposely did not provide sticking suggestions because he wanted his students to decide on the sticking they felt would give the best musical result. This obviously assumed that they had done their "homework" and were up to the task technically.

      Bent was an outstanding musician. His ability to make a snare drum roll sing and melt into the music, for example, was a constant source of inspiration to us. He encouraged us to become strong players technically. But more importantly, he inspired us to become strong players musically.

      Lennart Gruvstedt, prof. at the Academy of Music in Malmö, Sweden

      Translation and interpretation made by Jan Williams, prof. Emeritus, University at Buffalo Music Department

  • Instrumentation +
    • Snar Drum

  • About the composer +
    • ...Bent Lylloff, known to many as the "Dean of Scandinavian Percussion," died on March 7th 2001.

      His musical career included jazz symphonic, opera and avantgarde music. Lylloff began studying drums at the age of seven, marching in a Boy Scout band. At the age of ten he began studying piano and mallet instruments. After studies with Danish teachers, he continued studies with Gilbert Webster in London, Robert Tourte in Paris, and Morris Goldenberg and Saul Goodman at the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

      Lylloff was at the forefront of Scandinavian percussion music for many years as a result of his accomplishments as a recording artist, his concert tours, and his educational clinics and master classes. From 1961 to 1989 he served as Principal Percussionist and Timpanist with the Royal Danish Orchestra.

      He worked with many prominent composers and conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Monteux, Georg Solti, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Pierre Boulez, Witold Lutoslavski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Benjamin Britten, Andre Previn, Eugene Ormandy, Otto Klemperer and Charles Munch. He also worked with such popular artists as Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne, Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines, Harry Belafonte and Toots Thielemans...

  • Reviews +
    • Review (Percussive Notes, March (58) 2012)

      Most snare drum method books tend to use short phrases to teach technique while full-length etudes are employed to address musicality. “Tricky Biscuits,” however, presents the opposite: 172 short (two-line) phrases intended to isolate aspects of musicality in an “exercise” format. This book, published posthumously in 2007, draws inspiration from the technical exercises of longtime New York Philharmonic percussionist Buster Bailey, with whom the author was associated.

      As with any good primer on musicality and interpretation, many details are left open to the discretion of the performer. Each two-line phrase includes the obligatory rhythms, dynamics, and tempo markings, but intentionally omits indications of sticking or roll/embellishment interpretation. The majority of the exercises include frequently shifting meters, rolls, and grace notes, necessitating that the student have a strong understanding of technique and notation before attempting this material. While exercises of varying difficulty appear throughout the book, there does not seem to be any “progressive” ordering to the material.

      In contrast to other standard etude books, a major advantage to this collection is that the student can focus on the sound and execution of shorter phrases, instead of trying to learn an entire work. Although the material in this book would not suffice for an audition or jury performance, it would serve as an excellent primer for skills needed in order to execute more advanced works.

      Jason Baker


      Toshiaki ISHIUCHI
      Principal percussionist of Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo
      Toho College of Music Special Professor
      A member of Percussion Group '72 (percussion ensemble)
      A representative of The Circle '90 (percussion ensemble)

      This album "TRICKY BISCUITS" gives a good effect on young people who want to be a percussionist and to be a composer. It is very useful for them to understand a various pattern of rhythm, to express their phrase, and to practice first on various rhythm. In addition, it is effective in daily-training of professionals.

  • Credits +
    • Foreword: Lennart Gruvstedt
      Translator & interpreter: Jan Williams
      Support: Anika Telmányi
      Front cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
      Copyright by Edition Svitzer