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Three European Folksongs


Genre: Marimba Trio
# of Players: 3
Level: Medium | Duration: 10:30
Publisher: C. Alan Publications | Copyright: 2008

Download mp3 | Click on images to left for score sample

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Notes & Instrumentation
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  • Notes & Instrumentation

    A fun and playful adaptation of three tunes of European origins. These pieces make for a melodious set of variations that audiences will truly enjoy.

    Genre: Marimba Trio | # of Players: 3
    Level: Medium | Duration: 10:30

    3 Players on 1 Marimba (5-octave)

    Program Notes
    Written for the Attaca Percussion Group
    Dedicated to Savanna Carmack

    While helping a college-age friend with sightsinging exercises, I stumbled across these three tunes in her sightsinging book. The French and Spanish tunes were both originally cheerful little ditties, to the disgust of my friend, who has a marked antipathy toward major keys. So, to appease her and demonstrate the elasticity of the melodies, I improvised a minor key version of each, accompanying my voice on the guitar.

    I liked the results (of the music, not my voice) enough that I decided to set these tunes, plus the already-minor English melody, for three players on one 5-octave marimba. I did not retain the “everything minor” motif, however: for those who care, the French tune is set in the Hypomixolydian mode, the Spanish melody generally flirts with the strict natural minor, and the English tune has been altered to the Dorian mode. I have tried to use a number of idiomatic effects unique to the marimba, which remains one of my favorite instruments to play or hear. I have also tried to make the work accessible without being too predictable or harmonically sedate. I hope you’ll enjoy the work, or at least refrain from throwing things at the performers—they had nothing to do with the writing of the music.

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