Posted By : Jeff Moore
Piece Title : Ilijas
No. of times Viewed (September 2019) :50
Total No. of times Viewed :3678
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Dificulty Rating :
Level : Senior / Graduate
Composer / Arranger : Zivkovic, Nebojsa Jovan (1962-)
Composer / Arranger Details:

Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic

Hailed by the critics as one of the most unique and expressive marimba and percussion artists in the field today, Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic has greatly influenced the international percussion scene during the last two decades – as both a masterful composer and virtuoso performer.  Despite his cosmopolitan lifestyle and attitude, Zivkovic has always preserved his “Slavic soul” which makes his compositions and performances a unique emotional experience.  Concert tours have led him throughout Europe, from Siberia to Spain, from Greece to Finland, repeatedly in Asia, and annually through Latin and North America.

His groundbreaking compositions for marimba and percussion have set new performing standards, and his captivating and energetic performances have influenced generations of marimbists. Many of Zivkovic’s compositions ( for example: Ilijas, Ultimatum1, Trio per uno ) have become popular standards in contemporary percussion repertoire world-wide. His symphonic works are performed by top orchestras, such as the: National Symphony Orchestra, Washington D.C.; BBC Concert Orchestra, London; Orchestra di Santa Cecilia, Rome; Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra; and The Northern Sinfonia in Newcastle, UK. In addition to his thrilling and challenging concert works, he has composed many pieces for younger players. In particular, the pedagogical compositions from his “FUNNY MALLETS SERIES” are among the world’s best sold works for mallet instruments.  With over three hundred performances of his works each year in so far over fifty countries world wide, Zivkovic is one of the most frequently performed composers of marimba and percussion music.

As a charismatic soloist, mostly with his own marimba and percussion concertos, Zivkovic has performed with the: Stuttgart Philharmonic; Munich Symphonic; Bochum Phiharmonic; Austrian Chamber Symphony; Hannover Radio Symphony; Bielefeld Philharmonic; Belgrade Philharmonic; Slovenian Philharmonic; Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra; National Orchestra of Costa Rica, Minnesota Orchestra; and many others. He has also performed in such prestigious venues as the Viennas “Konzerthaus”, National Recital Hall Taipei, and the Stockholms “Nybrokajen”. In addition to his composing and concert activities, he gives master classes and seminars in Europe, Asia, Mexico and regularly through the USA. 

For over twenty years now Zivkovic has performed exclusively on YAMAHA MARIMBAS, since this is the instrument that perfectly fits all his needs, beside he is also using Zildjian Cymbals, Meinl percussion, Evans drumheads and Mapex concert toms/drums.  For more information on current projects, concert dates, compositions and CD’s, please visit:

Total Number of Percussionists Required :1 Percussionist(s)
Categories : Tuned Percussion
Instrument / Discipline : Marimba Solo
Instrumentation : N/A
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums : 5 Octave Marimba
Written for / Commissioned by : Dedicated to Slobodanka Motika / Rebecca Kite
Permission given for Youtube video by Copyright holder
and Youtube Channel Owner. Recorded / Provided by:
 Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic
Accompanied :N/A
Publisher :Gretel Verlag Dinklage
Publishers Website
Publisher Details :

The Gretel Verlag Germany (Publishing Company) was founded in 1991, by Gerhard Stengert and Werner Bornhorst.

They publish sheet music and are mainly specialised on percussion music.

You can buy our issues in Europe, USA, and some countrys of Asia.

Year Composed / Copyright Date :1996 /  1996
Duration :7Minutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :4
Special Needs :None
Sheet Music Available From      Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :

Ilijas is a three part rhapsody, a six-minute-long piece created for solo marimba. It was characterized by unusual scales and rhythms which were intentionally incorporated by Zivkovic in the piece. From the fast second portion, it further developed as it returns to the original material and mood of the slow opening section. This creation is of modern harmonic style but ironically tonal and listener-friendly.


The part writing for percussion is intended to remind us of Franz Liszts` piano passage work in such kind of music. Rhapsodic is the term that best describes the first part. The quasi-improvisatory music and the texture of his creation suggested guitar music with a Spanish quality which was unlikely the case for some.


By using an unusual texture, the pace of the second part quickens eliminating the piano figurations in the first part and instead using common marimbistic patterns. It was expertly composed in a number of various odd meters with melody in the octaves played by the right hand. A strange rhythmic pattern shifts with the common ones one after another which is a popular style of Balkan music with time signatures as 3+3+2+3+2/8. The melody, on the other hand is played in octaves in a higher register. 


From the fast pace of the second part, the improvisatory opening section returns to the previous Spanish feel it imparted on the first part maintaining a narrow interval. The intervals eventually normalize into a major scale towards the end.

The title, Ilijas was inspired by a small town located in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia. 

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Member Reviews / Comments
Posted By : Matt Groenheide (j.a.m.ani duo)    Date Posted: 09 September 2013 09:17:02 AM
This is an extremely cool and performable piece of music. The beginning is very expressive and free-flowing across the marimba. The main body of the piece is a very driving, but groovy mixed meter with some very cool melodic and harmonic ideas. It is a fairly difficult piece, but definitely worth the work!
Posted By : Jeff Moore    Date Posted: 12 February 2009 06:49:00 AM
A rhapsodic composition, titled after a small town in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia. It has a clear associations with folk tunes of that picturesque Balkan area, as well as mixed rhythms and tonal scales whose roots could be found even further East. In the introduction of the piece, Zivkovic calls for a very unusual marimba technique that produces sounds that remind us of a Franz Liszt grand piano sound. The middle part, however, uses typical marimbistic patterns, masterly composed in a number of various odd meters with melody in the octaves played by the right hand. The varied repetition of the opening part leads for a moment in a major keys, but after that short "light of hope" the music goes back to the melancholic mood and ends tranquillo, morendo...
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