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This setting of Molly on the Shore re-assigns most of the “knuckle-buster” woodwind parts to 4 players on 4 marimbas, treating the marimbas like a soli group in a concerto grosso. Percy Grainger was a passionate advocate for the mallet percussion, particularly the wooden marimba and steel marimba (a predecessor of the vibraphone). He also advocated the use of “complete families” of instruments, so it made sense to him to include the marimba as a downward extension of the xylophone, and the vibraphone as a downward extension of the orchestra bells. His genius in seeing these instruments as a family and not simply as “salt and pepper” provided opportunities for mallet percussionists several decades ahead of other composers.
Molly on the Shore for 8 hands on 4 Marimbas and band is a Grade 5, well-suited for the outstanding high school or collegiate band.