hammers [toy piano]


SKU: ASN-S15-01 Categories: , ,


PDF score download. 10 pages (incl. cover and front matter). 8.5×11 in.


hammers score

Performance by Amy O’Dell:

Program note:
hammers, for toy piano, emphasizes the noisy mechanical aspects of the instrument.

Further info:
This piece was composed for Amy O’Dell.

hammers is featured on Find Your Inner Child, an album by Amy O’Dell. Proceeds go to the Play it Forward Scholarship.

Interview with Amy on WABE (Atlanta NPR affiliate) [here]. hammers is discussed halfway through.

This piece’s materials stem, in part, from the third and fifth movements of my Studies for Old Toys (2012), which you can hear here. I also researched and wrote about toy pianos in my dissertation. In particular, I have been intrigued by Karlheinz Essl’s series of pieces for the instrument, which increasingly focus on the noise and mechanics of the instrument. Toy piano pieces certainly entered the compositional zeitgeist of the early 2010s, with many (to my ear) focused on the instrument’s place as a signifier of “childhood.” I wanted to avoid that in this piece as much as I could, thinking of it as more of a machine, albeit a playful buddy of a machine.


  • Alina Ezhakova, Pyshma, Russia 12/18/22
  • Alina Ezhakova, Yekaterinburg, Russia 10/13/20
  • Jorge Nicolás Manrique, Rioja Filharmonia, Zaragoza, Spain 11/12/19
  • ASN, East Carolina University, featured with choreography by Marissa Nesbit, 10/27-29/17 (4 performances)
  • Amy O’Dell, Florida International Toy Piano Festival, 1/17 (2 performances)
  • ASN, Faculty Recital, East Carolina University 9/23/16
  • Amy O’Dell, Highlands, NC, 7/27/16
  • ASN, Charlotte New Music Festival, 6/12/16
  • ASN, NACUSA Conference, University of Tennessee, 5/20/16
  • Amy O’Dell, Cicada Consort Marathon Concert, University of Alabama 3/26/16
  • Amy O’Dell, Atlanta, GA 2/26/16
  • Amy O’Dell, Atlanta, GA 7/31/15
  • Amy O’Dell, Atlanta, GA 7/16/15