Head Talk

From Wind Repertory Project
Mark Ford

Mark Ford

Subtitle: A Quintet for Drums without Shells

General Info

Year: 1987 / 1996
Duration: c. 9:10
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Innovative Percussion
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $31.00


Full Score
Percussion (5 players), including:

  • Bongo heads(6", 8")
  • Bottom snare drum heads(14", 15"),
  • Coated head, 14"
  • Coated PTS pretuned heads (10"bright, 22"bass drum, 10"dark, 12"mellow, 14"mellow, 16"dark)
  • Paper heads (5 sets) (14", 15"),
  • Pinstripe heads (10", 14", 16")


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Mark Ford's Head Talk provides the percussion quintet with a dose of sophisticated comic relief. The equipment necessary is somewhat unusual: six pretuned heads--ranging in size from a 10 to a 22; a used 14 snare head; two bongo heads; one 14 coated head; two Pinstripe heads; and five performer-prepared papered-heads for the surprise ending (each performer smashing the drumhead over the head of the drummer!). The five performers must have or develop a controlled sense of humor and must theatrically play off each other. The performers sit on the stage in a semi-circle, and Head Talk starts with the pretuned heads being twirled on stage. The opening rhythmic motive has a definitive rock-samba groove to it, and each performer ends up imitating the opening motive.

- Program Note by Jim Lambert, Percussive Notes, April 1996


State Ratings

  • Missouri: Percussion Ensemble Grade A
  • Ohio: 651 – Percussion Ens A
  • Texas: Percussion ensemble class 1


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Ford, M. (1987). Head Talk: A Quintet for Drums without Shells [score]. Innovative Percussion Publications: Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Mark Ford website Accessed 18 April 2020