Posted By : Jeff Moore
Piece Title : Michi
No. of times Viewed (June 2018) :7
Total No. of times Viewed :718
No. of Media Uploads :0(Videos -0, MP3 - 0, Photos - 0)
Dificulty Rating :
Level : HS/College
Composer / Arranger : Abe, Keiko (1937-)
Composer / Arranger Details:

Keiko Abe, born in Tokyo in 1937, is a Japanese composer and virtuoso marimba player. She has been a primary figure in the development of the marimba, both in terms of musical usage and of the design of the instrument itself.

Abe began playing the marimba at the age of 12, after hearing an American missionary group from Oral Roberts University playing the first marimba ever brought to Japan. After earning a degree in music education, she began a marimba trio that played popular music, but grew frustrated with the limited scope of the ensemble and in 1962 entered the world of contemporary classical music. playing mallet percussion with the NHK orchestra. During this period she had her own show on Japanese television, instructing schoolchildren in xylophone playing, as well as a radio show called "Good Morning Marimba". She also began her recording career with a bang, putting out 13 albums in a five-year span.

In 1963, the Yamaha corporation sought Japanese marimba players to assist in the design of their new instruments; Keiko Abe was chosen for her original and clear ideas of the marimba sound and design, particularly her concept of how the marimba should be able to blend in ensembles, for example, moving away from the inconsistencies and lack of focus of folk percussion instruments. Her ideas for the desired sound of the instruments guided Yamaha`s design, and in the 1970s began production. In addition, at her urging, the range of the new marimba was stretched from four octaves to five, which has become the standard for soloists. Abe has been closely associated with Yamaha ever since, and their first ever signature series of keyboard percussion mallets bears her name.

Her compositions, including "Michi", "Variations on Japanese Children`s Songs", and "Dream of the Cherry Blossoms", have become standards of the marimba repertoire. Abe is active in promoting the development of literature for the marimba, not only by writing pieces herself, but also by commissioning works by other composers and encouraging young composers.

In addition to her heavy composing, touring, and recording schedule, Abe is currently a professor at the Toho Gauken School of Music in Tokyo. She was the first woman to be inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame, and the first player to develop six-mallet techique. Among her former students is the noted percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Total Number of Percussionists Required :1 Percussionist(s)
Categories : Tuned Percussion
Instrument / Discipline : Marimba
Instrumentation : N/A
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums : 5.0
Written for / Commissioned by : Unknown
Permission given for Youtube video by Copyright holder
and Youtube Channel Owner. Recorded / Provided by:
Accompanied :N/A
Publisher :Ft. Lauderdale, FL: Music for Percussion, 1979.
Publishers Website :Unknown
Publisher Details : Unknown
Year Composed / Copyright Date : / 
Duration :7Minutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :N/A
Special Needs :4 Mallets
Sheet Music Available From :Unknown      Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :

Anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. The improvi Minutes

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Member Reviews / Comments
Posted By : Matt Groenheide (j.a.m.ani duo)    Date Posted: 08 September 2013 01:47:29 AM
No marimba repertoire list would be complete without the music of Keiko Abe, one of the most famous marimba players in history. Japanese marimba compositions have a unique flavor and Keiko Abe has been at the forefront of developing the “Japanese marimba sound.” This piece spends most of its time exploring the low end of the marimba, starting with an ominous stream of quiet notes. Eventually, a melody emerges from this dark mixture of sound and the piece begins to gain intensity. This intensity builds until, suddenly, there is a complete change of character; the music moves to the higher range of the marimba and becomes quirky and playful. These moments of relief don’t last long before the low end of the marimba returns with its dark intensity. This piece is a great performance and education; it is a wonderful composition in itself, but it is also open to improvisation in certain section, which is not always common in solo marimba literature. “Michi” is a very powerful and intense piece of music.
Posted By : Univ. Southern Mississippi Archive    Date Posted: 03 March 2011 09:44:05 AM
A standard. One of Abe s most popular works. Has room for improvisation in the beginning and ending. Should be played by anyone calling themselves a marimbist. Highly recommended
Posted By : Jeff Moore    Date Posted: 28 January 2009 09:01:00 AM
One of the Keiko Abe pattern etudes to develop multiple lines in a generally single line texture. All white notes except for B section. One handed rolls and good dynamic control necessary. Also uses melodic octaves in right hand. Mellow piece. Improvisatory sounding. Patterns are idiomatic. The one handed roll section is a bit hard.
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