I've played piano for many years and am learning an arrangement of a medley of The Greatest Showman by David MacDonald — you can see his video here. I'm very much liking this arrangement!! Amazing work by David!

I have a question about bar 63 which you can see in the screenshot below.

I'm looking for ideas on how to play the percussive notes at the end of bar 63 (the 6/4 bar). For some reason, in the video (at 3:12), the sheet music is different and David playes it as some taps and a 'wood gliss' if you will, on the fallboard. Please see screenshot from his video below (second picture).

I suppose the first semi quaver in the left hand, followed by the quaver in the right hand, and then another quaver in the left hand would be played as taps on the fallboard. Thoughts?

But what about the tremelo quaver that follows this in the right hand? How do you play tremelo here? A video would be appreciated.

Then how do I make the differently styled 'x' quaver sound distinct from the others. Any advice would be appreciated.

Screenshot from ASongScout's The Greatest Showman Advanced Piano Medley- Sheet Music Version

Screenshot from ASongScout's The Greatest Showman Advanced Piano Medley- Youtube Version

I don't mean to breach copyright with any of these screenshots.

1 Answer 1


I think the performer in the video you linked had a nice solution: for the regular "x" noteheads, he just taps his hand against the fallboard. Then, for the notated "glissando," he seems to scrape his nails along the fallboard until the end of the measure. The nails create a different sound quality than the hand taps, and by extending the scrape down the fallboard (from right to left) he's able to keep the sound continuous.

And for what it's worth, this is a decent mimicking of what a snare drummer would do: to keep a sound going, one option is to just continue motion along the drum head, which is basically what this performer is doing here on the fallboard. That "tremolo quaver" you mentioned in the upper notation is similar to what a percussionist could see that indicates a longer held note (like the glissando in the lower notation).


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