bret battey • bat hat media


Game of Hymns

An indeterminate "live remix" game piece for ensemble (2015)
Commissioned by Drum and Brass

Drum and Brass is a Leicester, UK ensemble that celebrates community music traditions by bringing together players from different cultures to share and explore ideas and skills and make music together. Drum and Brass commissioned Game of Hymns for their 2015 season. In it, I provide an improvisation framework for a "live remix" of three hymns that would be common for traditional community bands to perform: Bread of Heaven, Rock of Ages, and Old 100th. In the spirit of Terry Riley's classic In C, the scores provide basic musical materials and a set of written and graphical-notation pathways, rules and suggestions for how to move through the material. The ensemble has a great deal of latitude in choosing their approach(es) to the pieces.

The pieces can be performed with or without a conductor. The ensemble can be any mix of pitched and percussion instruments that will allow reasonable coverage of the four lines of music (derived from SATB arrangements of the original hymns). For example, the premiere of the work included a variety of brass and woodwind instruments, two sets of tablas, drum set, electronic marimba, voice and classical guitar.

The Drum and Brass commissions were made possible by:


Parts are provided in concert pitch, concert pitch with tenor written in treble clef, Bb and Eb. Other transpositions may be made available on request.

Paper Size: A3 landscape

Revision version May 28, 2015 – download zip file


  • Sep, 2022 - JCB Composer's Orchestra, Butler University, Indianapolis, USA [Old 100th]
  • Jun, 2015 - Drum and Brass, Riverside Festival, Leicester, UK