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Toccata for Percussion Instruments

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Carlos Chávez

Carlos Chávez

Subtitle: For Percussion Instruments

General Info

Year: 1942 / 1954
Duration: c. 12:20
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $24.95


1. Allegro, sempre giusto – 4:40
2. Largo – 3:25
3. Allegro, un poco marziale – 3:15


Full Score
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Claves
  • Glockenspiel
  • Indian Drums
  • Maracas
  • Snare Drum Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Tenor Drum
  • Timpani
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A beautifully written, classically oriented multi-movement work for six players. The parts are woven well, and, while each percussionists plays multiple instruments, the setups are relatively small, making for an impressive yet manageable piece.

- Program Note from publisher

The Toccata for Percussion Instruments was preceded by another chamber work, Xochipilli (1940) for winds and percussion. Written at the request of Nelson Rockefeller, Xochipilli was premiered at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art as part of “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art.” Its style and unique instrumentation were conscious efforts on the part of Chávez to evoke the lost music of native Mexicans.

The overall form of the Toccata is in three movements: fast—slow—fast. Chávez uses standard compositional devices of imitation and repetition. Small rhythmic themes are presented and passed between the membranophones creating recognizable melodic contours.

- Program Note from University of Texas Wind Symphony concert program, 6 April 2018


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

  • Missouri: Percussion Ensemble Grade A
  • Texas: Percussion Ensemble Class 1


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisc.) Diederich Percussion Ensemble (Joel Flunker, conductor) - 28 February 2021
  • Sacramento (Calif.) State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Matthew Morse, conductor) - 16 December 2020
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (David Baker, conductor) – 2 November 2020
  • Hope College (Holland, Mich.) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Fashun, conductor) - 31 October 2020
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Frederick Harris, Jr., conductor) – 6 December 2019
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Symphony (unconducted) – 6 April 2018
  • Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach, Percussion Ensemble (Ted Atkatz, conductor) – 6 November 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Chávez, C. (1954). Toccata Para Instrumentos de Percusión = For Percussion Instruments [score]. Belwyn-Mills: Melville, N.Y.
  • Perusal score