Duckworth, William- Gambit, for percussion and tape (Digital Download)

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For Solo Percussion and Tape, includes electronic accompaniment (3 m4a files) and score.  "One of the most exciting pieces on the album" (Composer Magazine, 1969). Gambit calls for timbales, two snare drums, bass drum, bass drum with pedal, three wood blocks, three suspended cymbals, gong, triangle and four brake drums. Now a classic work for tape and percussion, Gambit can be used on any recital program, college or professional. duration: 9' 30"

Print size: Letter (11 x 14")

Review from Percussive Arts Society:


William Duckworth


Composed by William Duckworth in 1969 for Harold Jones (retired percussion professor at East Carolina University), this 9-minute, 35-second multiple percussion solo with tape accompaniment (a “reel-to-reel” tape recorder was state of the art in 1969) has now been updated for prepared CD and live solo percussion. Duckworth’s graphic notation (for the multiple percussionist) is copiously synchronized with the precise notation for each second that the prepared CD sounds correspond with the multiple percussion sounds. The graphic notation is quite logical, primarily for membraned percussion with resonating cymbals and triangle. The rhythms notated are very conventional, and the choice of mallets are timpani mallets, hard rubber marimba mallets, and snare drum brushes. In the prefatory instructions, detailed notational placement make the score easy to read and interpret. One might say that Duckworth’s “Gambit” is notated in the style of Karlheinz Stockhausen or Reginald Smith-Brindle.


This multiple percussion solo requires a “prepared CD sound assistant” to stop and restart the CD while the multiple percussionist freely improvises between the 4:33 marking and the 5:21 marking. There is additional second, third, and fourth stopping and starting of the CD at the 5:22 mark, the 6:59 mark, and the 7:38 mark. The synchronous sounds resume at the 9:05 mark until the 9:30 mark, at which point the live performer permits all of the ringing sounds to resonate at a fortissimo dynamic. This composition might be appropriate for the senior or graduate level solo percussion recital. At $14, it is a bargain!—Jim Lambert, 2020