Skeleton Key Collection

Item No.: TSPB-52

4 Inventive Pieces for Percussion with expandable parts and flexible instrumentation - Medium-Easy to Medium

Article numbers

by Brian Nozny

4+ players


The pieces in this collection are designed to be played with a very flexible and atypical array of instrumentation so that virtually any ensemble can perform them. Directors are encouraged to be creative with instruments, but here are a few suggestions for each piece:

Bakken Overture

  • Tambourine (Auxiliary)
  • Snare drum (High Drum)
  • 2 congas (Medium Drums) + suspended cymbal
  • Horizontal kick drum (Low Drum)

Skeleton Key

  • Brake drum (High Metal)
  • Metal trash can (Low Metal)
  • High tom (High Drum)
  • Surdo (Low Drum)

The Floor is Lava

  • Bell plate (Resonant Metal)
  • Tambourine (Drum-like)
  • Shekere (Shaker-esque)
  • Woodblock (Wooden)


  • Splash cymbal (High Cymbal)
  • Medium crash cymbal (Medium Cymbal)
  • Ride cymbal (Low Cymbal)
  • Tam-tam (Tam-tam)

Brian Nozny wrote the four pieces of Skeleton Key Collection to address a need in the percussion ensemble repertoire: works that could be handled by a group of players with varying experience levels in a diverse number of situations. Each piece is written with four parts, with an open-ended, flexible instrumentation list featuring broad terms like high metal, low drum, wood instrument, etc.

Not only are the works rich in texture and energy as-is, but the director or ensemble is encouraged to customize the music to fit their unique situation! Some examples of customization include: adjusting repeat structures to lengthen or shorten the piece; expanding or reducing the number of players in various sections to reflect the form of the work; changing instruments within the same family mid-piece; offering improvisation opportunities; and so on. Like a "key" that fits any lock, this book is full of educational and expressive opportunities, perfect for intermediate-level ensembles or their directors!

This product contains the following works:

  • Bakken Overture | Med-Easy | 2'00"
  • Skeleton Key | Med-Easy | 2'50"
  • The Floor Is Lava | Medium | 2'20"
  • Vince | Medium | 2'55"

Skeleton Key Collection ships as a fully-bound book with a sleek cover design, and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or tablet viewing.

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