Preludes in A Major & a minor


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Composer’s Notes

One of my long term projects is to compose 24 preludes for solo marimba. These preludes are designed to be intermediate concert pieces that fit within the range of a 4.3 octave marimba. Though technically easier than most of my other compositions, these character pieces offer the same level of musical and artistic depth while providing the player a platform to focus on important musical subjects such as tone color control and phrasing.

Prelude in A Major use one of the most common mallet permutations for the marimba, 1-2-3-4-3-2-1. However, it is important for the player to not treat this piece as an exercise, but instead focus on subjects such as the voice leading (melody, bass, middle accompaniment), harmonic progression and phrasing.
Duration: Less than a minute

Prelude in a minor is based on a 7 note motif, E-F-G-E-D-C-B, that is presented in the melody. The motif is subsequently inverted and retrograded in its entirety. Underneath that is a bass line that simply descends chromatically from the Bb below middle c to the low A of a 4.3 octave marimba. The challenge of this piece would be to maintain a long legato line on the marimba, and to control a melody that weaves up and down between the top and bottom voices.
Duration: 3 minutes

Pius Cheung

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