2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

The Development of the Marimba as a Solo Instrument in the United States (1900-1940)
Daniel J. Harbaugh♦
Dr. Michael Bump, Faculty Mentor

The marimba did not appear as a solo instrument in the United States until the early part of the twentieth century. A Guatemalan family band first premiered the instrument in 1908. For a period of time after this premier, many people considered the marimba a "silly" instrument that had no business in the classical recital hall. Through both the technical and musical innovations of Claire Omar Musser, the marimba began to evolve into a solo instrument. In 1940, Paul Creston composed what is considered to be the piece that first demonstrated the legitimacy of the marimba in a classical setting. These three events can be pointed to as landmarks that encouraged interest and acceptance of the marimba as the beautiful solo instrument that it is today.

Keywords: Marimba, Percussion, Concerto

Topic(s):Music

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 39-2
Location: OP 2117
Time: 1:30

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student

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