Mallet Portfolio I: (Program Notes)

For Juliana (2003)  A simple yet beautiful modal Dorian chorale harmonies for two marimbas (one 4.3 or 4.6 octave)  A chorale with motion.  (2 marimbas: low 'A' and Low 'E')  Score Sample  Audio File (performed by Peter Saleh and Ken Riehman) (New!)

Passacaglia for Morris (2000/2005)  Written primarily in 4 part S.A.T.B. harmony, this chorale for two marimbas (one 4.3 or 4.6 octave) draws on a simple melody from the popular Goldenberg text.  (2 marimbas: low 'A' and 4 octave, optional low 'E')

Audio File (performed by John Arenas, Cody Byasse, Keith Hendricks, and Peter Saleh)  Score Sample

Medieval Variations for Two Marimbas (2000/2005)  A baroque style theme is transposed through several keys and moods.  Requires one 4.3 marimba.  Upper part may be played on Vibraphone as well.   Score Sample


Percussion Quartet #1:  In The Toybox (1999/2007)   

Scored for marimba, vibes, glock, percussion, and drum set, this piece is quite effective with any type of audience. A multi-metric ‘prog-rock’ composition in the vein of the music of Frank Zappa, Toybox is great for late high school or early undergraduate level players.  Audio File ('99 version performed by Peter Martin, Kevin Romanski, Peter Saleh, and Dan Zugale)  Score Sample (New!)


Percussion Quartet #2:  Themes and Distractions (2004) 

If Charles Ives wrote percussion ensemble music, it might sound like this.  The first in a series of “quotation quartets”, this work for timpanist and three multi percussionists takes on multiple personalities as its focus shifts between styles of and references to popular percussion repertoire.  Video File  Audio File (performed by the University of North Texas 1:00 Percussion Ensemble, October 2004)  Score Sample  Performance/Program Notes

-Here is an article from the UNT student paper on the premiere concert-


Written for the Exit 9 Percussion Group, the title roughly translates to "New Exit Nine" and was written upon my rejoining the group after a two year absence.  The piece is an 8 minute showcase for all five players and features a primary player on vibraphone, prepared tenor drum, and kick drum playing with a xylophonist, two marimbists, and multi-percussionist.  ExitiX Novum combines the pitch language of the octatonic scale with the rhythmic language of modern rudimental drumming and the stylistic aesthetic of an angry alien ethnic ragtime band.  Second place winner of the 2007 PAS Composition Contest and published through Innovative Percussion.  Audio File  Score Sample  Performance/Program Notes (New!)


Original Score to "Rippling Waves" (2006)

Patterned after the sound collages that many dance pieces employ, the instrumentation morphs from marimba and double seconds to marimba duet to marimba and jembe to marimba and drumset to hand drums and drum set.  The binding element is a six beat rhythm that is used as a tihai (a form of classical Indian rhythmic cadence) in the majority of the sections.  The music requires improvisation on pan, marimba, and drums.  This piece was written for Christian von Howard and Stephanie Milling-Robbins and premiered in Pawley's Island, South Carolina. (7 minutes)  Audio File (performed by the composer and percussionist Michael Knight, June 2006)


S. G. Soca (2001)   

An entertaining sampler of Latin and Afro-Cuban styles (Soca, Bossa Nova, Afro 6/8, Montuno) for less experienced players.  It is scored for 2 non-specific keyboard parts, guitar, (optional) timpani (or bass guitar, optional), drum set, and percussion so as to accommodate most any percussion program.  Easily expandable to include more players.  A great way to tie together and apply teaching several different percussion instruments to younger students.   Score Sample  Synthesized Audio File (New!)


"This Will Hurt Nobody" (2008) NEW My second collaboration with choreographer Christian von Howard and my first dance score written specifically for Exit 9.  This is a deliberate continuation and expansion of our first collaboration and has expanded its scoring to include lead tenor pan, vibes, marimba, congas, percussion, 7-string bass guitar, and drums so that the musical ensemble can match the power of the 12 dancers on stage (video available this fall).  Through the 11:00 minute work, four primary sections are presented, beginning with an expressive yet enigmatic and rhythmically elusive section peppered with tri-tone use, followed by a groove-inspired 9/8 Afro-Cuban feel that features the primary 3-note descending motive of the piece .  This then gives way to 'Sound Study', a minimalist inspired, effect-driven moment meant to contrast completely with the previous music, after which, the piece heads back into groove territory with a reformulated melody in a 3/4 Baiao samba style over a transfigured theme from 'Sound Study', unifying the two themes.


Trio for Flute, Marimba, and Cello (2004)  

A thirteen minute athletic event meant for three nimble players.  The pitch language of the piece, which sits on the cusp of tonal music, is based entirely on the first two measures of 16th notes which is then transposed through an augmented triad and put through its paces vertically and horizontally.  The marimba part, while only rarely orchestrated as a solo instrument, requires techniques commonly found in many serious marimba solo compositions.  Strong timing and rhythmic ability is required of all players. New! Acoustic Recording New!  Score Sample

More score samples and audio clips coming soon. . .

If you or your ensemble have performed a composition or arrangement of mine, please send me a program and any available recording.



Peter Saleh   Compositions                                          6 Newell Ave.                                    New Brunswick, NJ  08901