Mallet Ensembles Vol. 4
Composer: Daniel Berg
Instrument: Percussion Ensemble
Duration 15. min.
As many kids, I started to play drums and later in the teens I got in contact with the melodic percussion… and I was stucked! With the songs in Mallet Ensembles I have an attempt to awaken a young drummers curiosity for marimba and vibraphone. Therefore, I use repeated technical patterns in the chord parts, quite easy to learn, but a little bit tricky and fun for a drummer to play.
These three songs are orchestrated for a couple of mallet instruments – to get a rich and ”fat sound”, please double all parts in different octaves. The glockenspiel part is grade as easy, melody part is a little bit harder and chord parts intermediate.
Somethin' You Can Do About It?
Mallet Ensembles Vol. 4 performed by Fredrik Duvling & Daniel Berg (Rhythm Art Duo)
About the composer +
Daniel Berg is a Swedish composer, musician and professor in classical percussion. He combines the role of writing music with being a versatile musician and teaches solo percussion and chamber music at the University College of Music in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Örebro in Sweden.
In his passion to promote the marimba as a solo- and chamber music instrument, Daniel has worked intimately with a number of composers who have written original music for the instrument. This includes more than 250 world premieres for solo and chamber works. Daniel Berg is an artist of Bergerault Marimbas and Elite Mallets.
As a composer Daniel has written a lot for percussion published by Edition Svitzer like his Kroumata for percussion sextet, Images for Percussion Duo and Yán Jiāng (Magma) for solo marimba - a commission from the Taiwan World Percussion Competition 2020.
Review (Percussive Notes, February 2022)
Daniel Berg has once again created a successful short collection of intermediate mallet ensemble works for developing keyboard players using catchy melodies, groovy syncopated rhythms, and repetitive, yet accessible, parts. Similar to his three other collections, the fourth volume of Mallet Ensembles continues to expand the repertoire of exciting ensemble pieces for younger percussionists, which will help to develop aspiring keyboardists. Berg invites the performers to double as many parts as desired in various octaves to get a full, rich sound, making this perfect for an ensemble of any size with enough keyboards.
Within each piece, Berg keeps the difficulty in a tiered fashion that helps to get a variety of students involved. The bell part is the easiest, often written to highlight the melody along with the first vibraphone part using mostly quarters and eighth notes. The second vibraphone and marimba parts are the most difficult, using four mallets while outlining chords and rhythmic motives at the same time. Berg keeps the harmonic motion simple and repetitive, helping younger players achieve more success navigating four mallets on these instruments. The bass marimba part could also be played on electric bass or synth, and could even be played with the other marimba player on one 5-octave marimba — but it would be a tight squeeze at some moments when the high marimbist is in the part’s low range.
This fourth volume includes three pieces: a fast and exciting sixteenth-note driven piece titled “Concorde,” a funk shuffle titled “Somethin’ You Can Do About It?” featuring great moments for melody and accompaniment players, and “Oh Yeah!” an intentionally catchy, upbeat, and fun tune. With such a difference of styles between the three, there is something for everyone.
Whether you play one or all three pieces, this collection will definitely encourage advanced high school or university percussionists to gain comfort and control on keyboard instruments while also entertaining a broad audience.
Photo (Daniel Berg): Stig-Magnus Torsén
Cover: Ronni Kot Wenzell
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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