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Six Marimbas by Steve Reich is a variation on his minimalist piece Six Pianos that highlights the warm, mellow, resonating character of the marimba. The audience will experience a combination of different rhythms and pitches that form a wall of sound, changing in tiny ways until it becomes something totally different.
Each individual part is included with this music, but the score is sold separately.
Performers have a challenge ahead of them: memorizing the patterns and knowing where you are in the music requires a very high level of concentration and musical maturity, and at all times it needs to sound like one person playing everything. Any dirtiness in the rhythm breaks the effect.
Six Marimbas, as written, takes 24 minutes to complete. If you can't or don't want to set aside that much of your program for one piece, you can whittle down the number of variations for each pattern to your liking.
Instrumentation: Six 4.3-Octave Marimbas
Duration: 24:00 (can be shortened by adjusting amount of repetition)
From the composer: The piece begins with three marimbas playing the same eight beat rhythmic pattern, but with different notes for each marimba. One of the other marimbas begins to gradually build up the exact pattern of one of the marimbas already playing by putting the notes of the fifth beat on the seventh beat, then putting the notes of the first beat on the third beat, and so on, reconstructing the same pattern with the same notes, but two beats out of phase. When this canonic relationship has been fully constructed, the two other marimbas double some of the many melodic patterns resulting from this four marimba relationship. By gradually increasing their volume they bring these resulting patterns up to the surface of the music; then, by lowering the volume they slowly return them to the overall contrapuntal web, in which the listener can hear them continuing along with many others in the ongoing four marimba relationship.
This process of rhythmic construction followed by doubling the resulting patterns is then continued in the three sections of the piece that are marked off by changes of mode and gradually higher position on the marimba, the first in D-flat major, the second in E-flat dorian, and the third in B-flat natural minor. - Steve Reich
|Name||Six Marimbas by Steve Reich (Parts Only)|
|Brand||Boosey & Hawkes|
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