Steel Pan Etudes

“The Directional Suite”

A Collection of Four Solo Etudes for “Low C” 5ths Pan

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The following is a review from the Percussive Arts Society’s publication, “Percussive Notes” Vol. 54, No. 1 – March 2016.   Visit for more information.

 “This collection of four etudes for tenor steel pan requires an instrument tuned to a standard circle of 5ths. “The Directional Suite” includes the etudes “North,” “South,” “East,” and “West.” This collection addresses technical issues of this type of tenor pan, which custom- arily involves use of the “sweep.” The composer explains the sweep as multiple notes a player must execute with a single hand that are not as linear as on a ma- rimba or standard keyboard instrument. Each etude is titled to address that area of the pan and the sweeps typically used in that location of the instrument with this tuning. Each etude is in a different major key, those being B-flat, D, E, and A-flat. The pieces involve dynamics, meter and tempi changes, chromatic alterations, timbral variety (such as the use of the skirt), and sticking indicated throughout. These beautiful etudes include material suitable for beginner to advanced students and performers. Patterson should be commended in his pedagogical and compositional strengths, as he has produced music that many will find engaging, challenging, and highly suit- able for recitals for the college/university percussionist, teachers, and professional performers. Additional videos and learning material are available at The quality of production is excellent in every way as is that of the music and the performer/ composer.”

—N. Scott Robinson

“The Directional Suite” REVIEWS

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Thanks to Ted Goslin at Pan Magazine for an in-depth analysis and review of “The Directional Suite.”
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“This set is a fine addition to any pan player’s repertoire. Chris really hits the mark inTony-S.-Testimonial terms of developing the performer’s “sweeps” technique, which is necessary in so many other pieces. Once you get comfortable with the sticking and have the notes under your hands, there is an awful lot of musicality present too. The player is given plenty of latitude to play expressively and bring out the music within. It doesn’t feel like practice when you are playing a nice piece of music!”

                                                             – Tony S. Pickerington, OH