The canon of The Netherlands: 50 themes that, in chronological order, make up the history of The Netherlands. That is where it all started in 2006. It turned out to be an ideal format to summarize a complete overview of a nation, a city, a culture, or a genre, in a mere 50 ‘frames’.

For Niek KleinJan, the canon is the ultimate source of inspiration to sublimate the adventurous but at the same time complex and obscure world of today’s solo percussion into its 50 most important pieces.The Percussion Canon will be divided into a series of high-quality video clips. In its totality, this is the largest media project for solo percussion that has ever been realized. The Percussion Canon structures the existing body of percussion solo literature. The canon consists of the 50 most influential and iconic compositions, all of which were originally intended for a percussion instrument. Needless to say, this canon is a snapshot view from the perspective of an individual first-rate percussionist. Given the quick pace at which percussion music develops, the canon might well require an update every five years. Then there is the inevitable (and interesting) polemic. The choice of the 50 ‘frames’ will trigger a violent discussion within the percussion scene; a discussion which by all means will not be avoided. Given that this canon is the first and only one for solo percussion, it will be considered as authoritative from the moment of its introduction. The Percussion Canon on is a monument; a tribute to the most extensive, complex and attractive instruments in music history.

Niek KleinJan developed the project ‘The Percussion Canon’ because he wants to give percussion more exposure in the concert hall. The video project is the core of that plan. Next to the Canon, Niek and his team organise a lot of extra activities: concerts, master classes, new media and the PR. Because of the use of all these different resources, he suspects that he reaches a new and young(er) public so that he can introduce them to classical percussion music.The canon will include compositions by famous 20th and 21st century composers, as well as authors of less fame. In its entirety, it will be a well-balanced monument. The ‘frames’ will represent all relevant aspects of percussion: percussion technique, composition style, attractiveness, visual entertainment, percussion setup, interpretation, originality, accessibility, popularity, and more.

The Percussion Canon is divided into five main categories: Marimba, Vibraphone, Snare Drum, Set Up (composed from various percussion instruments) and Miscellaneous and is officially launched on August 17th 2013 at a press conference during the ‘Grachtenfestival Amsterdam’, partner of the project from 2013 till 2017. 

The Percussion Canon is sponsored by Adams Instruments, Brava Group, VSB Fonds, Voordekunst, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Q-Factory Amsterdam, Tromp Percussion, Pustjens Percussion Products & Muziekgebouw Eindhoven.