for solo marimba (six-mallet)

Written: 1988-90
Duration: 3'
Instrumentation: solo 4 1/3 octave marimba (six mallets)
World Premiere: Composer’s Forum, Eastman School of Music, Kilbourn Hall, Rochester, NY, May 27, 1990.
PublisherBill Holab Music

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Introduction to My Six-Mallet Technique | Basic Six Mallet Exercises


Merry Go Round is the first of four projected pieces based on themes relating to children’s experiences. It starts out sounding like the music played on a merry go round at a fair but becomes dizzy toward the end. My inspiration for this piece occurred one day when I was with a girlfriend. I was standing in front of my marimba, fooling around and showing off. To impress her, I grabbed three mallets in each hand and clumsily proceeded to play a simple “oompah-pah” pattern with my left hand while playing a melody with my right. It was the first time I had ever tried to play with six mallets at once, and it all started out as an accident. I was inspired, so I developed that pattern into this playful piece, the first one I ever wrote for marimba played with six mallets.

Press Quotes

Out of most six mallet music I have heard, yours seems to be the most musical, in the sense that it really concentrates on the music aspect, rather than the fact there are six mallets being used, and that is how it should be. I can’t wait to start playing them... the music is fantastic.
— United Kingdom-Based Marimba Soloist Gillian Maitland