A suite is a collection of short dance movements that emerged as a form during the Renaissance era. This collection for marimba incorporates two traditional dance suite styles – minuet and gigue – along with an invention, a tango, and a beautifully fluid chorale. The five works may be performed as a complete suite or may be programmed independently or in smaller sets of two or three. Uniquely, Suite Marimba is written to be playable either by one player using 4-mallets (with the exception of “Invention” which may be played with two mallets), or by two players as a duet on one low-A instrument. Potentially, a young marimbist could perform selected movements as a duet (with a teacher or friend), then return to the collection later to play those same or different works as a solo piece as their musicianship and technique develops. Tempo indications are provided as a guide, but are flexible and may be adjusted as desired. Given the short duration of each work within the suite, dynamics are intentionally omitted. Rather than clutter the score with excessive notation of dynamic phrasing and shaping or simply add a scarce collection of arbitrary markings for the sake of inclusion, performers are encouraged to consider their performance space and setting and follow the musical line to present a dynamically sensitive realization.
This marimba suite is an excellent pedagogical choice for the younger, second or third year keyboard percussion performer. – Jim Lambert
Printed by permission of the Percussive Arts Society, inc.