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Year Authored (or revised): 


Instrumentation : 

piano - 7 hands

Duration (min): 


Piano Roll Blues is a composition for one piano, seven hands. The "Piano IV" part, for right hand only, needs some special explanation. This part is to be played by a pianist who is seated in a chair "behind" the other three pianists (who are assembled on benches at the keyboard). The "Piano IV" pianist, therefore, must walk to the keyboard to perform, and the score provides directions for moving from the chair to the keyboard and back again. The "Piano IV" pianist plays the keyboard from a standing position. In addition, the "Piano IV" pianist is also called upon to perform certain dramatic gestures which are described in the score. These include descriptions of the manner in which the pianist should move toward and away from the keyboard, directions regarding posture or "attitude," remarks about how to access the keyboard between "Piano I and II" or "Piano II and III," page turn indications (the "Piano II" pianist is also instructed to turn pages 21 and 23), and the performance of a hand gesture that is indicated at the beginning and the ending of the piece. The gesture is identified by an "x" notehead, and instructs the pianist to raise the right hand so the "side" or the "back" of the hand faces the pianist. This means that when performing "side" that the back of the hand faces the audience, and that "back" means the outer side of the hand is facing the audience. At beginning, the pianist is instructed to hold this gesture until instructed to play, and at the end of the piece, the gesture is performed as a series of rapid "turns" in the rhythm performed by the other three pianists. 

Piano Roll Blues was commissioned by pianist Rebecca Penneys, who performed the work for the first time with pianists Anton Nel, Tony Caramia, and Nelita True as "Piano IV."

Ensemble Type: 

4-hands keyboard

Listening Sample: 

Internal Fields


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