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Crossing Boundaries (2003)

available from the composer

duration ca. 4:00



percussion quartet

Percussion 1: Large Chinese Drum (Chinese Bass Drum), Chinese Cymbals, Ceng-ceng,

Machine Castanets, Metal Vibraslap, Wood Vibraslap, Giant Rainstick, 4 Chimes:  





Percussion 2:  Snare Drum, Bongos, Cowbell, Wood Block, Peking Opera Gong,

Guiro, Egg Shaker, 5 Temple Blocks, Tambourine (mounted), Chime (D)


Percussion 3:  2 Chinese Tom-toms, 1 Timpano (23”), Cabaca, Tam-tam, China Boy Cymbal, Mini-Kokiriko, 4 Almglocken:





Percussion 4:  Talking Drum, Hi-hat, 1 Large Conga Drum, Kabuki Blocks, 1 Maraca, Finger Cymbals, Wood Block, 5 Gongs:

Program note

Specially commissioned by RTHK Radio 4 for the launch of the United Music Nations and Music Beyond Borders, Christopher Coleman’s percussion quartet Crossing Boundaries takes its inspiration from these programmes.  In the piece, East and West, North and South are represented by percussion instruments literally from around the globe: the Chinese Drums, Temple Blocks, and Peking Opera Gong; Japanese Kokiriko and Kabuki Blocks; Indonesian Ceng-Ceng; Thai Gongs; African Talking Drum and Bongos; Middle Eastern Finger Cymbals; Latin American Guiro, Maracas, and Conga; Spanish Castanets, European Timpani, Snare Drum, and Chimes, Swiss Almglocken, Hi-hat cymbals from the USA and many others are all blended together.  The composition crosses as many boundaries as possible, mixing different percussion patterns and styles from around the world, moving between pitched and non-pitched instruments, percussion and chant, Classical and Popular genres, even passing between drama and comedy.  It is both a ceremony and a celebration of the joy of music across our planet.


Crossing Boundaries was premiered by the Jenga Percussion Quartet on January 15, 2005, at Government House, Hong Kong.

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