Robert Clayson's new piece Dance of the Music Box Figurines is scored for 4.3-octave marimba solo and is a musical portrayal of a ballerina dancing gracefully to music played by an antique music box. This piece gives the performer many opportunities to explore a wide array of different playing styles from beautifully to aggressively.
Genre: Marimba (4-mallet) | # of Players: 1
Level: Medium | Duration: 4:15
Solo Marimba (4.3-octave)
Dance of the Music Box Figurines, written for a 4.3-octave marimba, is a musical portrayal of a ballerina dancing to a tune played by an old music box. Like the dancer it calls to mind, this piece is fluid and full of movement. Full of lyrical and expressive opportunities, it is a great piece to bridge the gap between intermediate and advanced marimba solos.
The piece opens with deep, resonant harmonies before introducing a delicate, tinkling melody that evokes the image of the dancer coming to life. She rises from her arabesque with a grand sweep of her arms before beginning her pliés and pirouettes.
Percussive instruments themselves, old fashioned music boxes are complex but beautiful bits of mechanical engineering. Sound is produced by a rotating drum of tiny metal pins striking a steel comb with teeth of varying lengths. Thanks to this rotating motion, the song repeats until the music box has wound itself out. You can hear this repetition in Dance of the Music Box Figurines as the main melody resurfaces several times throughout. The piece also features an odd section to represent the old music box skipping, giving the dancer pause before resuming her graceful movements once the gears click back into place.
With its rich harmonies and expressive melodies, Dance of the Music Box Figurines will please both audiences and performers alike.