FAQ/Help Files

General Questions About the Music

  1. Do I have to use the instrumentation laid out in the pieces?
  2. Where can I get advice on conducting Dan's pieces?

Questions About Dan

  1. Can I contact Dan by email?
  2. Can you get a message to Dan? ("you" being the webmaster)

Composition FAQs

  1. Buffalo Jump Ritual
  2. Dinosaurs
  3. Hymn of St. Francis
  4. Symphony No. 1 (In Memoriam, Dresden, 1945)
  5. Unusual Behavior in Ceremonies Involving Drums
  6. Voodoo


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General Questions About the Music

1. Do I have to use the instrumentation laid out in the pieces?

One of the biggest problems that conductors have with Dan's music is that they limit their imaginations. The problem with performing Dan's music is that you have to be a playful person who doesn't want to take things as seriously as people in the band world tend to think they should be taken. Dan would encourage directors to use their imaginations and those of their students when coming up with odd instruments and sounds. If you or one of your students comes up with a great idea for an instrument or sound, send it to our webmaster and we'll post it!

2. Where can I get advice on conducting Dan's pieces?

Robert Spevacek is a great person to contact if you have questions about conducting any of Dan's pieces. He has conducted many of Dan's works in the past during his career at the Univerisity of Idaho's Lionel Hampton School of Music. "Spev", as many of his students call him, was a professor of music, the Director of Bands, and conductor of the Wind Ensemble at the University of Idaho for over 30 years. He continues to be in high demand across the country as a conductor, adjudicator and educator. His email address is rspevacek@msn.com.

Questions About Dan

1. Can I contact Dan by email?

No, sorry, but Dan does not have an email account. If he did, he would spend most of his time answering email and would not have time to compose or teach. You may contact him through the UI Lionel Hampton School of Music (see the Contact page).

2. Can you get a message to Dan? ("you" being the webmaster)

Possibly, but it would probably be faster to contact him by regular mail. When I need to contact him, I (the webmaster) have to go up to the U of I campus myself at a time when I know he has class in order to find him! :)

For Directors: Questions About Compositions

Buffalo Jump Ritual

  1. What kind of rattles should be used?
    Latin Percussion, yellow, plastic maracas are what Dan had in mind. What makes them a rattle is you hold them over your head and shake them violently - they can be played in unison with a drum to give them a Native American sound. If you would rather use some other kind of "rattle", you are encouraged to "go for it."

Dinosaurs

  1. What are giant maracas?
    When Dan went and visited Moscow Jr. High, there were two Scotch bass drums with broken shells into which kids had dumped beans and all kinds of junk over the years. He picked them up and shook them and decided to add them into the instrumentation of the piece. He suggests that you, as a conductor, get creative with your students and come up with your own giant maracas.

Hymn of St. Francis

  1. Can other sounds be used for the animal sounds?
    Yes - in fact, Dan would encourage directors and students to come up with better ways of making the sound effects in "Hymn of St. Francis". The piece is supposed to be experimental and fun in that respect.

Symphony No. 1 (In Memoriam, Dresden, 1945)

  1. Where can I get help with conducting this piece?
    Contact Dr. Robert Spevacek - he is the master at conducting this piece - rspevacek@msn.com.

Unusual Behavior in Ceremonies Involving Drums

  1. The recording I have seems longer than the written score for the piece. Why?
    This piece exists in more than one version. Dan second-guessed himself on his first sketches of the piece and ended up making some sections of the piece much too long. Unfortunately, he did not have time to shorten the piece before it was premiered and recorded, so the recorded version that we have is of the longer version. The original version of the piece was written to be about 23 minutes long. Dan has since shortened the piece to fill about 16 minutes of playing time.

Voodoo

  1. For lack of a good way to phrase the questions, here are the answers:
    No, Dan is not a satanist. No, Dan does not practice black magic. This piece was not in any way intended to reflect specific religious convictions - please see the program notes on the Voodoo "details" page for more information about the ideas behind the piece.

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