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Motown Metal

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Michael Daugherty

Michael Daugherty

General Info

Year: 1994
Duration: c. 7:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Peer Music Ltd.
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown     |     Score Only - $25.00


Full Score
Horns in F I-II-III-IV
Trumpet I-II-III-IV
C Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Anvil
  • Brake Drum
  • Cymbal (medium suspended)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (or Tam-tam) (large)
  • Hi-Hat
  • Nipple Gong (medium)
  • Splash Cymbals
  • Triangle (2: small and large)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Motown Metal for brass ensemble and percussion is inspired by the sounds and rhythms of industrial Detroit: city of automobile clamor and the sixties Motown sound. The composition highlights instruments made only of metal. Motown Metal is an assembly line of ascending and descending glissandi and rapid chromatic scales, predominately heard in the trombones. The tuba, glockenspiel, and anvil create a funky polyphony, while the trumpets and horns play big band staccato chords. I draw on my experience playing percussion in sixties soul music bands and drum and bugle corps to create brassy industrial-strength polyrhythms.

- Program Note by Michael Daugherty

Motown Metal was commissioned by the Detroit Chamber Winds and Summit Brass and premiered by the DCW, conducted by H Robert Reynolds, in February 1994. It was inspired by the rhythms of industrial Detroit: a city of automobile clamor, the '60s Motown sound, and the '90s techno beat.

In line with the title, the work features metal instrumental only, including the usual brass but with percussion instruments such as the vibraphone, glockenspiel, cymbals, and brake drum. The composition rigorously structured around a series of glissando crescendos for trombones, a funky tuba counterpoint, big band staccato chords for trumpets, and metallic percussion riffs.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • McGarvey, Timothy D. (1987) “Desi, Bizzaro, and Motown Metal: The Wind and Percussion Music of Michael Daugherty.” D.M.A. dissertation, University of Cincinnati. 184 p.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 158