Posted By : TimoPalm
Piece Title : Mourning Dove Sonnet
No. of times Viewed (January 2019) :34
Total No. of times Viewed :3840
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Dificulty Rating :
Level : Senior / Graduate
Composer / Arranger : Deane, Christopher
Composer / Arranger Details:

Christopher Deane is associate professor in percussion at the University of North Texas. Prior to his appointment with UNT, he was the principal timpanist of the Greensboro Symphony for nine years and a regular performer as both percussionist and timpanist with the North Carolina Symphony for ten years. He has performed with numerous orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.

Deane`s chamber music experience includes performances with the Aeolian Chamber Players, the Percussion Group Cincinnati, the Mallarme Chamber Players, and the New Century Saxophone Quartet. He is a founding member of the Philidor Percussion Group. Recording experience includes the North Carolina Symphony, the Cincinnati Philharmonia, the Crofut Consort, Mallarme Chamber Players, and the St. Stevens Chamber Orchestra.

Deane has won both first and second prize in composition from the Percussive Arts Society. A number of his compositions are considered standard percussion repertoire and are played internationally. Deane has appeared as a performer, composer, or clinician at seven Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. Deane is an Artist/Educator clinician for Innovative Percussion Company and Sabian Cymbals.



Total Number of Percussionists Required :1 Percussionist(s)
Categories : Tuned Percussion
Instrument / Discipline : Vibraphone Solo
Instrumentation : Vibraphone
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums : 3-Octave Vibraphone
Written for / Commissioned by : Not a Commissioned Work
Permission given for Youtube video by Copyright holder
and Youtube Channel Owner. Recorded / Provided by:
 Michael d`Angelo
Accompanied :N/A
Publisher :Published by the Composer
Publishers Website :Please contact the composer directly.
Publisher Details :

This piece of music is published by the composer and you should contact them directly for more information.

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Year Composed / Copyright Date :1983 /  1983
Duration :10Minutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :4
Special Needs :(2) bass bows, a hard rubber mallet appropriate for pitch bends, a mute similiar to a note pad or method book to place on the vibraphone.
Sheet Music Available From :(Published by the composer)     Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :


Mourning Dove Sonnet was composed as a concert vibraphone solo in which the musical material was focused on an integration of traditional and non-traditional performance techniques. It is, in essence, a wordless art song for vibraphone. The performer is musically free to be flexible with the tempo, however, a sense of pulse and forward motion is necessary for this piece to "sing" as intended. The piece should never feel rushed to the point that the special sounds such as harmonics, pitch bends and bowed notes are sacrificed. It is recommended that the melodic and harmonic material of this piece bu learned initially with the standard four mallet combination by the performer. Once the notes are learned and understood, it becomes much easier to convert the notes practiced with mallets to the more challgening bow and mallet combination required by the piece. 

Bow Technique

Double bass bows are the most effective type  of bows to use, (the composer uses French style bows). It is recommended to memorize this work. The standard bowing indications (as used by string players) were originally written based on preliminary performances by the composer, however, these indications are only suggestions and should be changed, if neccessary, to meet the needs of the performer. The success of the bowing in this piece is affected by many variables including quality of bow hair, quality of rosin, humidity in the environment, bow hair tension, and pressure of bow stroke and bar cord tension. It is recommended to clean the bow hair and only lightly rosin the hair before the performance to maximize bow effect. Angle of the bow to the bar also affects the response and stabilty of the notes produced.


The grip used by the composer is a modified Stevens style grip. a cross grip has also been used by some performers. The diagram (in the score) shows the Stevens type grip with the hard bending mallet in the right hand and the standard vibraphone mallet in the left.

Bending Notes

Pitch bending can be on of the most demanding technical aspects of this piece. The usual mallet used by a vibraphonist is a hard rubber mallet. This type of mallet works well in that the rubber minimizes the contact sound that can occur when the mallet first arrives on the bar. The composer uses a harder mallet of a nylo or dalron material with a rattan shaft (one example it the Innovative Percussion Co. product IP902). This type of mallet allos for bending over a greater range of the instrument because of it`s decreased absorption of the bar vibration. The down side of this type stick is that there is an increased danger of contact sound. It is recommended to place the mallet on the bar at the nodal point (place where the cord goes through the bar) with the mallet shat at about a 70 degree angle, press down so the shaft bends significantly, and move the mallet in the direction of the bar center.

Some bars work well with a motion that stays near one side of the bar. Some notes bend well with a semi-circular motion from the bar edge towards the bar center or towards one end of the bar, away from the center. The performer should experiment with each bar that is played using this technique to decide which motion works best. To minimize contact, a small circle of a soft material such as moleskin may be placed at the top of the mallet to provide an arrival point. Once on the bar, the performer rolls the mallet head off the soft area to the exposed mallet head material and activates the note bend.

This piece contains a literal transcription of a Mourning Dove song. The performer should try to hear either a live rendition or a recording of this bird`s song to help attain the best inflection of interpretation.

Mourning Dove Sonnet was written in Greenville, NC and was first performed by the composer at the 1983 North Carolina Percussive Arts Society chapter Day of Percussion.

Note: This composition is distributed by Innovative Percussion

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