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Techno Blade

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Benjamin D. Taylor

Benjamin Dean Taylor

Subtitle: For concert band and electronic audio track

General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: c. 3:00
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Benjamin Taylor Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00; (digital) - $65.00   |   Score Only (print) - $20.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe (optional)
Bassoon (optional)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F (optional)
Percussion (4 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • China Cymbals
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel (optional)
  • Marimba (optional)
  • Snare Drum
  • Splash Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Tom, low
  • Triangle
  • Wind Chimes
  • Xylophone

Electronic audio track
Players hit metal stands with pencils


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A recent hobby I have taken up is knife throwing. I was pleasantly surprised to find that throwing knives make some really intriguing sounds as they spin through the air and thud into the target, or glance off the target in the case of a miss! The sounds are percussive, yet unusual, almost otherworldly, as if they might be borrowed from an alien drum machine. When you combine this with the fact that Jim Mobley, the head commissioner, is a percussionist, located right outside Detroit, which is the birthplace of techno music, it was clear to me that this piece should be inspired by electronic dance music (EDM) while incorporating sounds from my recordings of throwing knives.

At several moments in this work, all the band members are asked to be percussionists by playing on the metal around them, namely their music stand. (Sorry, I couldn’t get permission to have the performers play throwing knives on stage!) Sounds in the electronic track come from me both making and throwing my own set of knives. I recorded and processed the sounds of cutting, grinding, and sanding the steel and then, of course, the sounds of “playing” with the finished knives. The melodies and harmonies found throughout the piece are all derived from words and numbers associated with knife throwing.

I would like to thank the students from Brownstown Middle School Band who came up with the perfect title for this piece, Techno Blade.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by James Mobley and the Brownstown Middle School Band, and N-BEAM consortium members.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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