Women Drummers – The Black Page

Once considered a boy’s only club, more and more women are taking up the drums as an instrument of choice – such as Lucy Landymore* (above) who performs Frank Zappa’s “The Black Page Drum Solo”, as well as Heather Thomas (below) who also performs “The Black Page #1” with the Central Washington University Percussion Ensemble. It bodes very well for equality of the sexes behind the drums.


*BBC Young Musician of the Year 2010

11 Responses to “Women Drummers – The Black Page”

  1. jonnybutter2 says:

    Interesting to hear the piece played at this slow tempo (the two Heather vids). It works though.

    I teach music to kids, sometimes very young ones, and my impression is that little girls often like drums just as much as the boys do – in fact just about ALL very young kids seem to like drums. What’s not to like about banging on stuff with sticks?! Things get a little more genderized later, but I believe quite a bit less so than in the past. When I was a 8-10 year old kid (40 years ago), middle school girls played flute and clarinet and boys played trumpet, percussion and trombone, and there was very little overlap (I played French Horn, which seemed to be ambisexual for some reason). Not so much that way now, which is cool, because the former way is so arbitrary and boring. I do think a distinction has to be made between playing instruments as a quasi-social activity in a middle school band, and kids who seriously study an instrument. I went to a conservatory-type school for High School (in the US, ages roughly 14-18) 30 years ago, and there were female percussionists and trumpeters then, but they were serious students, like Heather and Lucy.

    Glad Ruth U. was serious also….

  2. Ole K says:

    This is one of the most intelligent and musical performances of The Black Page I have ever heard (and I have heard many). Even got a lot of eyebrows to it. I have heard it about 25 times now, and I have enjoyed it very much every time.

    Lucy Landmore is very talented and I will keep searching for other of her performances.

  3. Ole K says:

    I posted my comment from the frontpage and didn’t realise that were other perfomances too. My comment was directed at Lucy Landmores version.

    Heather Thomas is also very gifted, but Lucy wind The Black Page Medal.

  4. Balint says:

    Time after time I get surprised on the main structure of The Black Page – it’s simply repeating the whole thing again, so the piece is two same, equal parts following each other (I’m not talking about BP no.1 and no.2).

    Do we know any piece from any time of the music history with a structure like this? Or is it only surprising to me?

  5. Dark Clothes says:

    I don’t know about musical history (no, I don’t!), but Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is famous as the play where “nothing happens twice”. The two acts are very similar, and a possible parallell to the Black Page.

    On a micro-level there’s something similar happening in Beefheart’s music – so often the guitar parts are played twice before the next section, which is then played twice, and so on. It’s a way of carving the stark statement into the listener’s mind, I guess.

  6. jonnybutter2 says: