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for solo vibraphone
by Chris Munson
Price: $15.00
Duration: 3:50
Pages: 4
Level: Med-Advanced
State Lists: Missouri, Ohio, Florida
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Inspired by an early summer afternoon spent playing with his young daughter, Munson has composed a tasty jazz waltz for 4-mallet vibraphone solo. Written at a medium-advanced level, the cool jazz harmonies create an ethereal mood that’s surprisingly but effectively complemented by playful rhythmic moments.

Bella comes as a professionally bound folio.



Bella requires a standard-range vibraphone.


Take a nice 32-bar cool-jazz-style head, support it with some tasteful block chords and a few passing lines, add a little variation and an improvised notated chorus, and in essence you have “Bella” by Chris Munson. The tune will sound familiar, but one of those “can’t quite put your finger on it” types of familiar. The sweet and cheerful nature of it is, accord- ing to the composer, reflective of “playing with my young daughter outside on an early summer afternoon.”

Everything in this solo, with the ex- ception of pedaling, is notated. Though portions are intended to sound improvised, there are no chord changes or open solo sections. The melody has a childlike simplicity, but the supporting chordal activity and some of the four-mallet voicings are challenging and require intermediate to advanced technique. The feel is essentially a jazz waltz, and the piece is set in C major, but includes a predictable amount of chromatic decoration given the jazz influence.

Skilled jazz vibists will likely find “Bella” to be a well-conceived realiza- tion of a jazz tune, but may prefer a little more flexibility and some chord notation. For those without a strong jazz back- ground, the more traditional notation of this piece is an excellent introduction to the genre, could serve as a nice study piece, and certainly is a quality under- graduate recital selection.

–Josh Gottry
Percussive Notes
Vol. 52, No. 2. March 2014

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