Mallet Percussion

Marimba Solo – Etude

Category: Mallet Percussion

Marimba Solo – Etude

Level: Advanced
Duration: 3:30

Copyright © 2022 Juan G. García

PDF – Sheet Music, Page 1

The Spanish title, “Libélula,” translates to English as “Dragonfly.” I used the imagery of the dragonfly’s four wings as an inspirational springboard as the marimba traditionally requires two to four mallets (two in each hand) to be played.

My intention with this music composition was to write an étude for the marimba. An étude being a short and sometimes fast, didactic piece which is meant as a practicing vehicle for learning a technique or various techniques associated with the instrument it was written for. This composition requires the largest marimba, which at present, is the 5-octave marimba. I fully exploit its range that is from C2 to C7.

My focus for this étude was primarily rhythmic evenness and accuracy of execution through arpeggiotic ostinato figures. I chose to break up the patterns with frequent chromatic scale fragments and occasional high-speed grace note articulations. “Libélula” is written with varying time signatures and a somewhat disjunct and, at times, fragmented melody to create the sometimes unexpected and jagged flight patterns of a dragonfly. Much like my “Dos Vibran Por Un Amor,” this piece was written in a more lyrical pianistic style.

The marimba solo “Libélula” was completed on September 7, 2007. This piece was composed in a very short time, and weeks from having just completed my Solo for Marimba & Vibraphone, “Arco Iris Por El Neblinoso Crepusculo Del Amanecer” which in contrast, took much more time to bring to fruition due to prior commitments, unforeseen personal responsibilities and the simple fact that it is a much more complex piece.