Chemical SongsChemical Songs
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Chemical Songs

eight progressive two-mallet solos for keyboard percussion
Level: Easy to Medium
Duration: 1:00–2:30 each
State Lists: Texas
Release Date: 2017
Delivery Method: Physical
Product ID : TSPB-38
Price: $18.00
Item #: TSPB-38


Description

Chad Heiny’s Chemical Songs is a welcome addition to the solo keyboard repertoire for young players. This collection is comprised of eight engaging two-mallet solos. Each solo in the collection will fit on a standard size marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, and some even on a glockenspiel.

If performing all eight solos, instrumentation can be customized to help bring character and nuance out of each solo. Written for easy-to-medium skill levels, these solos also come with optional audio accompaniment tracks (created by Evan Brown) that underscore the title and thematic material of each piece.

Included in this collection:

  • Clean Slate (Easy, 1:00)
  • Sharp Edges (Easy, 1:30)
  • Rattle (Med-Easy, 2:00)
  • Unlocked (Med-Easy, 1:35)
  • Clearly (Medium, 2:00)
  • Caverns (Medium, 1:45)
  • Friendly Banter (Medium, 0:50)
  • a Heartsong (Med-Easy, 2:30)

Chemical Songs ships as a fully-bound book with a sleek cover design by fellow Tapspace artist, Jesse Mattson. It also ships with a CD containing the optional audio accompaniment tracks.

Reviews

The amount of material for the beginning mallet percussionist continues to expand with Chad Heiny’s “Chemical Songs: Eight Progressive Two-Mallet Solos for Keyboard Percussion.” With the addition of optional audio accompaniment, Heiny incorporates current technological trends into the pedagogy of the young mallet student. Each solo is around one to two minutes in length, so students can easily digest the main pedagogical points from each, which are conveniently described in detail in an educational notes section of the foreword. 

To get a perspective on the range of difficulty, I’ll discuss the first piece, one in the middle, and one towards the end of this progressive study. “Clean Slate” is the first solo in the book, which only incorporates quarter and eighth notes, never leaving the staff, and played entirely in the key of C major. “Clearly,” the fifth solo in the collection, incorporates 9/8 and 12/8 meters while adding significant note difficulty with chordal patterns— somewhat reminiscent of the traditional Irish tune “Irish Washerwoman”— switching between the keys of B-flat minor and D-flat major. Some of the final solos in the book would function nicely as upper-level high school or early collegiate material for short two-mallet solos, including “Friendly Banter,” which adds significant leaps around the instrument and thirty-second notes, all within the key of B minor.


The beauty of this collection is the amount of variety for students, from early beginner to aspiring mallet soloist. The composer also recommends trying the solos on a variety of instruments, providing a great opportunity for early introduction of the vibraphone or glockenspiel as a solo instrument. 


Although the accompaniment tracks are optional, they provide a certain set of challenges and rewards. As with most play-alongs, practicing an etude up to a certain tempo can be challenging and at times inhibiting if the tempo is too fast for the performer. Also, Heiny mentions that the audio tracks require a lot of technology for these pieces to be performed, something that is o en not found in younger music education classrooms and practice rooms. Regardless of these complications, the audio tracks enhance the solos significantly, and students can still practice all pieces with the provided disc without a major setup by hearing both the click track and audio accompaniment together. Given the wide array of music available in this collection, it is worth a look for teachers hoping to expand their usual repertoire for two-mallet solos.


Matthew Geiger
Percussive Notes
Vol. 56, No. 2, May 2018

Description

Chad Heiny’s Chemical Songs is a welcome addition to the solo keyboard repertoire for young players. This collection is comprised of eight engaging two-mallet solos. Each solo in the collection will fit on a standard size marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, and some even on a glockenspiel.

If performing all eight solos, instrumentation can be customized to help bring character and nuance out of each solo. Written for easy-to-medium skill levels, these solos also come with optional audio accompaniment tracks (created by Evan Brown) that underscore the title and thematic material of each piece.

Included in this collection:

  • Clean Slate (Easy, 1:00)
  • Sharp Edges (Easy, 1:30)
  • Rattle (Med-Easy, 2:00)
  • Unlocked (Med-Easy, 1:35)
  • Clearly (Medium, 2:00)
  • Caverns (Medium, 1:45)
  • Friendly Banter (Medium, 0:50)
  • a Heartsong (Med-Easy, 2:30)

Chemical Songs ships as a fully-bound book with a sleek cover design by fellow Tapspace artist, Jesse Mattson. It also ships with a CD containing the optional audio accompaniment tracks.

Reviews

The amount of material for the beginning mallet percussionist continues to expand with Chad Heiny’s “Chemical Songs: Eight Progressive Two-Mallet Solos for Keyboard Percussion.” With the addition of optional audio accompaniment, Heiny incorporates current technological trends into the pedagogy of the young mallet student. Each solo is around one to two minutes in length, so students can easily digest the main pedagogical points from each, which are conveniently described in detail in an educational notes section of the foreword. 

To get a perspective on the range of difficulty, I’ll discuss the first piece, one in the middle, and one towards the end of this progressive study. “Clean Slate” is the first solo in the book, which only incorporates quarter and eighth notes, never leaving the staff, and played entirely in the key of C major. “Clearly,” the fifth solo in the collection, incorporates 9/8 and 12/8 meters while adding significant note difficulty with chordal patterns— somewhat reminiscent of the traditional Irish tune “Irish Washerwoman”— switching between the keys of B-flat minor and D-flat major. Some of the final solos in the book would function nicely as upper-level high school or early collegiate material for short two-mallet solos, including “Friendly Banter,” which adds significant leaps around the instrument and thirty-second notes, all within the key of B minor.


The beauty of this collection is the amount of variety for students, from early beginner to aspiring mallet soloist. The composer also recommends trying the solos on a variety of instruments, providing a great opportunity for early introduction of the vibraphone or glockenspiel as a solo instrument. 


Although the accompaniment tracks are optional, they provide a certain set of challenges and rewards. As with most play-alongs, practicing an etude up to a certain tempo can be challenging and at times inhibiting if the tempo is too fast for the performer. Also, Heiny mentions that the audio tracks require a lot of technology for these pieces to be performed, something that is o en not found in younger music education classrooms and practice rooms. Regardless of these complications, the audio tracks enhance the solos significantly, and students can still practice all pieces with the provided disc without a major setup by hearing both the click track and audio accompaniment together. Given the wide array of music available in this collection, it is worth a look for teachers hoping to expand their usual repertoire for two-mallet solos.


Matthew Geiger
Percussive Notes
Vol. 56, No. 2, May 2018



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