GratitudeGratitude
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Gratitude

for marimba and voice
Level: Medium
Duration: 3:00
Personnel: 2 players
Release Date: 2019
Product ID : TSPCD19-007
Price: $28.00
Item #: TSPCD19-007

Formats Available:


Description

Nathan Smith’s Gratitude was written to showcase the beautiful singing quality of the marimba and how, when paired with the human voice, it can create a sense of smoothness and connectivity. The lyrics, melody, and harmonies of the piece all cohere into one beautiful and euphonious experience. Although Nathan encourages using a high falsetto voice, the vocal melody featured in this piece can be taken down an octave if necessary. Nathan also recommends listening to such famous vocalists as Nan MacMillan, Gillian Welch, and Joni Mitchell in order to achieve the particular vocal style he was aiming for.

This piece comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

Alto

Marimba (low C)

Reviews

There has been a recent surge in popularity of pieces for marimba and voice, and “Gratitude,” with lyrics by Nan MacMillan, is short and would be quick to put together.

While the vocalist sings, the marimbist plays a chorale with the top line following the melody of the lyrics. The next part has a brief solo marimba interlude in triplets that reiterates the melody but is a bit of an abrupt shift stylistically. The piece ends with a brief coda recalling the beginning and ends on the leading tone. Ending with the dominant chord on the line “If there’s a hope that waits for me...” is meant to be poignant, but comes across as unfinished. The melody is beautiful, and the piece is so short that the listener would have been pleased to hear more.

Overall, “Gratitude” is a nice piece with a lovely melody and texture that could have benefited from more development and more material for the singer. The message of the lyrics is wonderful, and the marimba part would be doable for an early intermediate marimbist and a vocalist with a folk ballad timbre. The piece wouldn’t be appropriate for a degree recital but would be a good experience for performers wanting to get experience in this style and have a short duet to include in performances of accessible music such as a church service or family event.

—Marilyn K. Clark Silva
Percussive Notes
Vol. 58, No. 4, August 2020

Description

Nathan Smith’s Gratitude was written to showcase the beautiful singing quality of the marimba and how, when paired with the human voice, it can create a sense of smoothness and connectivity. The lyrics, melody, and harmonies of the piece all cohere into one beautiful and euphonious experience. Although Nathan encourages using a high falsetto voice, the vocal melody featured in this piece can be taken down an octave if necessary. Nathan also recommends listening to such famous vocalists as Nan MacMillan, Gillian Welch, and Joni Mitchell in order to achieve the particular vocal style he was aiming for.

This piece comes as a professionally printed and bound score and includes individual parts in PDF format for printing or for tablet viewing.

Instrumentation

Alto

Marimba (low C)

Reviews

There has been a recent surge in popularity of pieces for marimba and voice, and “Gratitude,” with lyrics by Nan MacMillan, is short and would be quick to put together.

While the vocalist sings, the marimbist plays a chorale with the top line following the melody of the lyrics. The next part has a brief solo marimba interlude in triplets that reiterates the melody but is a bit of an abrupt shift stylistically. The piece ends with a brief coda recalling the beginning and ends on the leading tone. Ending with the dominant chord on the line “If there’s a hope that waits for me...” is meant to be poignant, but comes across as unfinished. The melody is beautiful, and the piece is so short that the listener would have been pleased to hear more.

Overall, “Gratitude” is a nice piece with a lovely melody and texture that could have benefited from more development and more material for the singer. The message of the lyrics is wonderful, and the marimba part would be doable for an early intermediate marimbist and a vocalist with a folk ballad timbre. The piece wouldn’t be appropriate for a degree recital but would be a good experience for performers wanting to get experience in this style and have a short duet to include in performances of accessible music such as a church service or family event.

—Marilyn K. Clark Silva
Percussive Notes
Vol. 58, No. 4, August 2020



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