Percussion Ensemble 12 | Grade 5 | 10'45"

Matt Moore


Critical Mass (2012)


In nuclear physics, the term “critical mass” refers to the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. The term is also broadly used in a number of fields from business to socioeconomics to software development to encapsulate similar notions, usually in regards to the stage at which a process becomes self-sustaining. Critical Mass for 12 player percussion ensemble portrays this idea as it gains, and at times loses its ability to sustain itself over the course of the piece’s three sections. Just as critical mass and a stable momentum seem to have been finally achieved in the final portion of the piece, the ensemble struggles to remain in control and finds catastrophe imminent...

Crotales & Bells
Chimes & Xylophone
Vibraphone 1
Vibraphone 2
Marimba 1 (4.3-octave)
Marimba 2 (4.3-octave)
Marimba 3 (4.5-octave, opt. 5-octave) & Suspended Cymbal
Marimba 4 (5-octave) & China Cymbal
Percussion 1 (Medium Suspended Cymbal, Ride Cymbal, Snare Drum, 4 Concert Toms)
Percussion 2 (Triangle, Wind Chimes, 2 Suspended Cymbals (high & low), Tam-Tam (higher pitch)
Percussion 3 (Brake Drum, Sound Plate, Tam-Tam (lower pitch), Kick Bass Drum (laid flat), Concert Bass Drum)