With text by Lord Byron, The Destruction of Sennacherib is a powerful work for amplified spoken voice and a battery percussion septet. The piece is driving from beginning to end and will add a lot of variety to a percussion ensemble concert!
Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 7 + Voice
Level: Medium Difficult | Duration: 5:30
Amplified Spoken Voice
Percussion 1 (bongos, brake drum, crash cymbal)
Percussion 2 (timbales, chains, crash cymbal)
Percussion 3 (2 congas, snare drum, crash cymbal)
Percussion 4 (3 concert toms, hi-hat)
Percussion 5 (3 concert toms, hi-hat)
Percussion 6 (concert bass drum, China cymbal)
Timpani (4 drums)
The Destruction of Sennacherib was written for the Lindenwood University Percussion Ensemble in 2013. The title and text are taken from the poem of the same name written by Lord Byron and first published in 1815. The poem tells the story of the Assyrian King Sennacherib and his attempted siege of Jerusalem. King Hezekiah called to the heavens to save them from this formidable foe, and the following morning many of the Assyrian soldiers were found to have died in the night. This was a popular poem at the time, and it has been referenced in cultural settings including literature, movies, and television.
The poem uses a literary device called "anapestic tetrameter," in which a group of two unstressed beats and one stressed beat is repeated four times. This creates a rhythm to the text that (in this case) calls to mind the hoofbeats of racing horses as the Assyrians ride into battle. This internal rhythm and the vivid, expressive text are what inspired me to create this piece.