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Etude Op. 6 No. 8, Whole Tone

Also known as the Natural Boy, this serene etude is constructed of block chords both rolled and unrolled. The full range of the instrument is used, keeping character with the dynamic style for which the composer is known.

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(1901-1998)

The study and mastery of Clair Omar Musser’s Etudes is considered by teachers and performers to be a type of “right of passage” into technical competence. Also known as the Natural Boy, this serene etude is constructed of block chords both rolled and unrolled. The full range of the instrument is used, keeping character with the dynamic style for which the composer is known.

Musser’s solo compositions and transcriptions and his ensemble arrangements have enjoyed great popularity. His Etudes have remained a staple in marimba repertoire and they continue to be performed daily all over the world. The study and mastery of Clair Omar Musser’s Etudes is considered by teachers and performers to be a type of “right of passages” into technical competence. Almost all marimbists study at least one of them, and most professionals have learned them all.

Marimba virtuoso Clair Omar Musser’s influence on playing, teaching, composition, and manufacture has been pervasive. He performed his own arrangements of Chopin, Mendelssohn, Bach, Paganini, and others internationally. His solo compositions and transcriptions and his ensemble arrangements have enjoyed great popularity. Musser’s large marimba orchestras were acclaimed throughout the world. He was a teacher of renown, having headed the Northwestern University Marimba Department for ten years and sent many of his students to important positions in playing and teaching. His innovations in grip, mallets, and technique revolutionized marimba and vibraphone playing. An inventor and designer of instruments, he custom-made instruments for many famous performers. Musser also founded the company that bears his name.

Difficulty

Advanced

Performance Type

Solo

Delivery Method

Print Copy, PDF Download, Print & PDF Versions