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Snare Drum Compositions

Volume I

Volume I

"This complex array of snare drum solos by Jonathan Curtis presents a unique combination of challenges for the performer and listener. Beyond requiring an assured technique, Jonathan’s thoughtfully crafted pieces demand an understanding of proportion and compositional balance built on mathematical foundations.


The result is a beautiful confluence of intricacy and flow, with carefully placed accents that allow for melodic expression on the drum. There are deep and carefully considered levels involved in these works, which require us to seek to understand the process and logic behind their creation. Mr. Curtis presents us with highly organized music that, in an ideal performance, is completely organic to the ear."


 - Joseph Tompkins, New York City, October 2021

Front Cover of Snare Drum Compositions volume 1 by jonathan curtis, published by artificer productions

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"Jonathan Curtis explains that his focus in this collection of five works for snare drum was to create solo compositions, rather than etudes or technically focused works. As such, the pieces are not graded by difficulty, nor are they organized into any extra-musical hierarchy. Instead, each work is built around a musical or conceptual idea, and attention is paid to the development of the material.

It is clear that the composer has taken great care with the presentation of this collection. The engraving and paper materials are high-quality, and there are quotes from other percussionists sprinkled through the collection. Various sections of prose are included in both the front and back of the collection, with great insight into the compositions process and the composer’s mindset. In addition to the musical content, the performance notes are a great exploration into the “why” of musical composition.

This collection would work well for percussionists looking for solo snare drum repertoire that seeks to eschew the classification of “rudimental” or “orchestral” snare drumming. While none of the included pieces are easy, they vary in length and tempo, allowing for players to start with one of the shorter works to enter sound world and writing style of the composer.

This collection is worth picking up for any serious percussionist, and especially for those who wish to spend more time on serious snare drum repertoire."

  • Jamie Wind Whitmarsh, Percussive Arts Society, Percussive Notes Vol. 60, No. 2, April 2022

This collection of snare drum solos were composed as part of an Arts Council England collaboration. They explore concepts of mathematical principles, systemic and process-based arrangements, and Hindu chanting practices as compositional tools.

This beautiful collection includes extensive composition and performance notes, and clear and accurate notation.

Each piece features unique and challenging contemporary vocabulary, drawing on rudimental, orchestral, and French drumming repertoire, as well as presenting original and unique phrasing.

These pieces are challenging, exciting, and compositionally interesting. Each piece can be purchased individually, or as part of this collection.

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Snare Drum Compositions

Volume II - Meditations

Volume II
02635_Artificer Productions Snare Drum Compositions Volume II_01.24_Front.jpg

The second volume of this collection expands and builds upon the concepts and ideas presented in the first, adding a three-part percussive accompaniment to bring the snare drum into an ensemble context.

The pieces follow an aesthetic theme of meditation, which informed their structure, vocabulary, use of sound, and naming conventions. Each piece seeks to convey a particular idea or ambience, whilst also retaining musical coherence.

The pieces are challenging, and combing cutting-edge contemporary vocabulary with traditional rudimental repertoire, and contain elements of orchestral, French, pipe, and rudimental traditions.

The book contains full scores for the snare drum and three accompanyists, as well as extended essays that cover compositional analysis, theory, and performance notes.

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