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Marimba: Technique Through Music

Marimba: Technique Through Music

By Mark Ford

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Marimba: Technique Through Music composed by Mark Ford. For marimba (marimba (low A). 1 etude requires 5 octave). Level 3-5. Method book. Published by Innovative Percussion (IP.M-MF-MAR).

Composer's notes: Marimba: Technique Through Music is a collection of 16 etudes that are designed to help the intermediate four-mallet marimbist focus on specific stroke techniques. Students have the best chance for building technique and musicality by working on short selections in a variety of different musical styles. This text guides the student through several etudes that focus on different musical applications of one specific technique. Each section of the book begins with a brief introduction to a specific stroke followed by graduated etudes that utilize that stroke. In this manner, the student will become confident with these basic strokes and their application to musical expression. The guidance of an experienced teacher will be invaluable to the student during the study of these etudes.

Each of the 16 etudes in this superb collection is composed to assist the intermediate four-mallet marimbist in learning a specific pedagogical technique. The 16 marimba solos are varied in their musical style, and each focuses on a specific technique. After an introduction to this 64-page loose-bound collection, general comments by Mark Ford regarding stroke concepts, getting started, and chordal applications precede six sections that are named "Single Independent Strokes," "Single Alternating Strokes," Double Lateral Strokes," "Double Vertical Strokes," "Chorales" and "Combined Strokes." The first two sections each have two etudes, while the remaining four sections have three etudes each. Of particular interest is Ford's concluding sections on "Chorales" and "Combined Strokes." Both contain more difficult etudes-any one or a combination of which might be appropriate for the younger college-age recital (e.g. junior recital) or as potential contest/festival selections for intermediate to advanced high school marimbists. The titles of the tonal chorales are "Wellington," "Azalea" and "Coventry," and their tonalities are D-major, F-major and B-major, respectively. In the introductory remarks to "Chorales," Ford suggests several outside listening examples or the student to reference regarding appropriate chorale style considerations. The concluding section's titles are "Birchbrook," "West Oak" and "Stoneman." These solos present multi-metered, contemporary-style compositional techniques. The final composition in this collection, "Stoneman," is dedicated to Ford's uncle, Bill McClintock, who lived next door to Ford when he was growing up. The sensitive "dolce" marking for this 3/4, B-flat major etude provides a gentle musical tribute to an individual who obviously impacted Ford's life significantly. "Stoneman" would be appropriate for an undergraduate college percussion recital. Although this composition requires a fiveoctave marimba, the remaining solos in this collection can be performed on a low-A marimba. Congratulations to Mark Ford for providing 16 etudes that will permeate the teaching and performance pedagogy of marimba students for years to come. - Jim Lambert Percussive Notes, April 2006.

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Marimba: Technique Through Music

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