Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. James B. Campbell


Steve Reich’s music has had a profound effect on the contemporary percussionist’s repertoire. More recently, his Mallet Quartet (2009) has been one of the most performed works in the rising genre of mallet-keyboard quartets, which was featured in Third Coast Percussion’s 2017 Grammy-winning album Third Coast Percussion | Steve Reich. With Mallet Quartet, Reich codified this type of ensemble into the contemporary repertoire of percussion as evidenced through current commissions in progress by groups such as Sō Percussion and Third Coast Percussion.

The purpose of this document is to delineate the trajectory (past and present) of the mallet-keyboard quartet and highlight the most important compositional characteristics found within Mallet Quartet. These characteristics include the use of canonical augmentations, large-scale tonal shifts, rhythmic modification, and developing variation. After this analysis, this dissertation provides a performance guide to Mallet Quartet which specifically address the practicalities necessary for a successful performance. Topics such as the setup of instruments, mallet considerations, approaches to challenges in part-reading, and common ensemble issues are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)