Posted By : Jeff Moore
Piece Title : Great Wall
No. of times Viewed (September 2019) :24
Total No. of times Viewed :1039
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Dificulty Rating :
Level : Graduate
Composer / Arranger : Stevens, Leigh H. (1953-)
Composer / Arranger Details:

Hailed by Time magazine as "the world`s greatest classical marimbist," Leigh Howard Stevens` repertoire ranges from Renaissance music and the Preludes and Fugues of J. S. Bach, to original marimba works written by contemporary composers expressly for him. Much of this unaccompanied literature was considered technically and musically impossible by one player until the development of Mr. Stevens` new system of four-mallet technique. Percussionists and marimbists worldwide have adopted his revolutionary approach and his book on the subject of four-mallet marimba technique, Method of Movement, has been translated into six languages.

It is difficult to find a single aspect of marimba technique, repertoire or design that has not been profoundly changed by the work of Leigh Howard Stevens. From "Stevens Grip" to the types of motions used to play the instrument; from the length and material of the mallet handles to the wrapping and stitching of the heads; from the first height-adjustable all wooden marimba frame in the 1980s to the first fully-tunable resonators in the 1990s; from one-handed rolls and baroque ornaments to the use of contrasting roll types; from the early polyphonic Helble Preludes to the works of John Serry, David Maslanka and Joseph Schwantner to his own original compositions and transcriptions.

Considered "revolutionary" at the time, many of these concepts and developments are now used routinely by players and teachers around the world, and in fact, have become synonymous with contemporary marimba playing. It is no exaggeration to say that Leigh Howard Stevens has not just been at the cutting edge of the development of the marimba in the last 30 years—he has been the cutting edge.

This fresh approach to music making on the marimba has greatly expanded the instrument`s compositional possibilities, stimulated composer enthusiasm for the marimba`s use in solo and chamber music and ultimately led to a series of more than thirty world premiere performances by Mr. Stevens. The first performance of Raymond Helble`s Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra by Leigh Howard Stevens and the Denver Symphony in 1980 was a milestone in the development of marimba literature. His digitally recorded all-Bach album has been greeted with rave reviews for its artistry by magazines as diverse as Stereophile and Billboard.

Devoted marimba lovers have sprung up all over the world—both players and general public—converted by Leigh Howard Stevens` solo recitals, hundreds of college campus appearances, concertos with symphony orchestra, European concert tours, masterclasses and radio and television appearances both here and abroad. He has been featured in Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and appeared on National Public Radio`s All Things Considered, and Voice of America`s internationally broadcast, New York, New York. His celebrated musicianship, imaginative programming and exciting performances have inspired critical acclaim and standing ovations in forty-eight of the United States and 18 other countries. Mr. Stevens introduced the marimba to The People`s Republic of China in a televised performance that reportedly reached an audience of 800 million viewers.

In addition to performing exclusively on an extended-range Malletech Marimba of his own design, he serves as a consultant and conducts educational masterclasses for Malletech. Mr. Stevens taught for many years at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, where he was Professor of Marimba. He has been awarded four U. S. Patents for marimba design.

Mr. Stevens can be heard on past releases of the Delos, Musical Heritage Society, Musicmasters and CRI record labels, as well as current releases on Resonator Records.

Total Number of Percussionists Required :1 Percussionist(s)
Categories : Tuned Percussion
Instrument / Discipline : Marimba
Instrumentation : N/A
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums :
Written for / Commissioned by : Unknown
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and Youtube Channel Owner. Recorded / Provided by:
Accompanied :N/A
Publisher :Keyboard Percussion Publications
Publishers Website
Publisher Details :


It was 2000 when the need for a single internet address for Marimba Productions Inc. and Malletech LLC was realized. This single internet address is intended to contain the products, services and publications of the two said companies such as Malletech instruments, mallets and accessories, Keyboard Percussion Publications and Studio 4 Music publications, even the recordings of Resonator Records. In this site, a lot of information about marimba and percussion performers, composers, acoustics, seminars and concerts can also be found.

Marimba Productions, which is the older of the two companies, has been operating since 1979  that time as a publishing company. The establishment of this said company was driven by the 26-year old Leigh Howard Stevens difficulty in finding a publisher for his manuscript, Manuscript of Movement for Marimba. A lot of publishers turned down the project. But it was one famous publisher that helped Stevens by suggesting the inclusion of a 2-mallet playing, vibes, xylophone and bells in his manuscript in order for it to have a better chance of getting published. The manuscript, before being published contains a lot of texts and diagrams which made it really boring. Besides, his manuscript only dealt with 4-mallet playing which can only cater to a small market.

It was in New York City where Marimba Productions was incorporated. In 1986, Stevens moved to New Jersey where his company was reincorporated. Marimba Productions Inc. also began publishing scores of some marimba solos that had been commissioned by Leigh Howard Stevens shortly after the publication of his manuscript. Successfully, his first three publications, Raymond Helbles Tocata Fantasy, David Maslankas Variations on Lost Love and John Serrys Night Rhapsody have become one of the most influential creations in the marimba repertoire. These three creations were performed on his New York City Debut Concert in Town Hall on October 27, 1979.

In 1978, which was a year earlier, Leigh`s first solo marimba mallet line was introduced by Vic Firth Inc., a company based in Boston, Massachusetts. The mallets have unique design and were very different from other keyboard mallets manufactured previously. The mallet handles were characterized by an extended length birch, loose wrapping, stitched heads and tones having a range of sounds. Leigh eventually took over in 1982. Bob Becker, David Friedman and Dave Samuels, three of the greatest mallet players in the world helped Leigh in establishing MALLETECH, the first brand of mallets devoted to serious keyboard percussion players.

Musser, the largest manufacturer of keyboard percussion instruments in the world at that time, sought the expertise of Leigh by hiring him as their design consultant in 1985. Leigh designed the new extended range marimba after working on the bar and resonator tuning systems for all the marimbas, xylophones and vibes. This new extended range marimba is now known as the M450 LHS. This instrument still has two of his patented designs, a built-in frame height adjustment and tunable resonators on the lowest octave. Due to the products high-end specifications, M450 LHS became the worlds best selling extended-range concert marimba in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His design of a furniture-grade all wooden frame marimba replaced the fake leather-wrapped frame components of some of today`s most expensive instruments. But due to low price, some manufacturers still use leatherette wrapped frame components.

Leigh decided to withdraw himself from Ludwig/Musser in 1991 to add keyboard percussion instruments to the successful Malletech mallet line. His first professional Malletech instruments were showcased at the 1992 PASIC. It is now highly established and has gained the favor of the world`s greatest players. It has even been acknowledged as the world`s best marimba.

Malletech marimbas and mallets have become two of the trademarks of Marimba Productions Inc. until this business was bought by Zildjian Company in 1997. It was 2000 when Leigh re-acquired half of the business again. He named the LLC as Kp3. He also bought Malletech trademark and the mallet business from Zildjian in June 2005. These two now operate under the name Malletech, LLC.

From 1997 to 2005, Marimba Productions Inc. operated as a publisher with percussion music published under the name Keyboard Percussions Publications. Leigh found Resonator Records, a record label in 1997 specializing in keyboard percussion music. It has released the works of Gordon Stout, Michael Burritt, Eric Sammut and the Marimba Festival Orchestra, even the recordings of Leigh himself.

As years went by, Marimba Productions Inc. continuously acquired the catalogs of other percussion publishers, such as Contemporary Music Project, M. Baker Publications, Percussion Arts and Studio 4 Music. These catalogues contain the majority of the serious percussion repertoire by Gordon Stout, Clair Omar Musser, Bob Becker, Michael Burritt, Eric Sammut, Eric Ewazen, David Maslanka, Raymond Helble, and Paul Smadbeck.

The two companies currently operate on a 20,000 sq. ft. building in Neptune, New Jersey. The company is currently being managed by officers Julie Istre (General Manager) and Leigh Howard Stevens (President and CEO).

Year Composed / Copyright Date : /  1995
Duration :UnknownMinutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :N/A
Special Needs :4 Mallets / Double Lateral
Sheet Music Available From :Unknown      Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :Unknown
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Member Reviews / Comments
Posted By : Jeff Moore    Date Posted: 10 February 2009 09:54:00 AM
A difficult double lateral piece, takes alot of endurance.
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