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Great Wall (by Leigh Howard Stevens)

Price: $15.00

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A roll is a roll is a roll. (er...was that roll or rose?). Except when it isn't, and only sounds like it. This piece is a 6 minute wall of sound coming from the marimba - all apparently sounding like rolls, but many patterns are really "quasi-rolls" or repeated figurations that sustain the sound of the marimba with a rhythmic drive. A vaguely Asian tune is treated to variations, and like the Great Wall itself, eventually fades into nothingness.

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Musical FeaturesGreat Wall is a tonal work that exposes and focuses on the luscious lower range of a Malletech Marimba. The meter is duple, with the half note getting the beat. The opening and closing sections feature half-note moving chords that linger in the lower two octaves of the instrument. A motive is stepwise motive with slight variations is repeated during these sections.

The composer is very specific on expression markings and the pacing of the piece. There are often markings above cadenza-like passages describing the the amount of seconds it should take to perform each segment.
Technical FeaturesThe lateral roll or Musser roll is used throughout, requiring much dexterity and endurance. There are several reaches between hands, spanning the lowest 3 octaves. While the piece is idiomatic there are constant shifts between lateral rolls. The middle section of this work requires double verticals in the RH and lateral strokes in the LH.
Duration7 minutes, 30 seconds
InstrumentationMarimba 5 Octave - 4 Mallets
Level SuggestionCollege/Professional