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Smile (Chaplin)

Theme from "Modern Times" arranged for solo marimba by Alex Stopa
Level: Med-Advanced
Duration: 3:20
State Lists: Florida | Missouri | Texas | Indiana
Release Date: 2014
Product ID : TSPCS-65
Price: $23.00
Item #: TSPCS-65

Formats Available:
Physical Only

Description

Smile was composed in 1936 as the love theme for Charlie Chaplin’s acclaimed final silent movie Modern Times. (Even though the characters never spoke, earning the movie its “silent” moniker, there were sound effects and a score.) Some two decades later John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added lyrics to Chaplin’s melody, and in 1954 Smile, sung by Nat King Cole on Capitol records, landed a spot on the Billboard charts. With its simple melody and optimistic lyrics, Smile is loved the world over and remains heartwarming and timeless almost a century after it was written.

Alex Stopa’s arrangement for solo marimba highlights the warm and mellow characteristics of the middle to lower register of the instrument while giving a casual tip of the hat to ragtime pianists such as Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller and Jelly Roll Morton. Playable by intermediate marimbists and familiar to audiences, Smile is sure to be a winning choice for percussion recitals and festivals!

Instrumentation

  • Marimba (5-octave, low C)

Reviews

Composed in 1936 for Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie Modern Times and later reaching the Billboard charts in 1954 as sung by Nat King Cole, you may not immediately recognize the tune by name, but within a few bars, not only will it become familiar, but Alex Stopa’s arrangement will make you want to “Smile.”

The melodic line is always set clearly above the texture in this adaptation. Accompaniment figures use everything from block chords to stride left hand, as well as several phrases of tastefully unassuming arpeggiated figures. Rhythmic divisions include occasional quarter-, eighth-, and sixteenth-note triplets, but the piece is set in common time throughout and mostly features quarter- and eighth-note rhythms. “Smile” is very tonal, but includes frequent chromatic pitches outside of the F-major key center. By far, the greatest challenge in performance will be executing the required intermediate-level 4-mallet techniques with enough comfort to present the tune in a relaxed, expressive, and graceful manner. 

At 3 1⁄2 minutes in length, Stopa’s arrangement is a perfect selection for casual performances, pops music recitals, and concerts. It could even be used as a formal recital encore and will make performers and audiences alike, well, you know, “Smile.”

—Josh Gottry
Percussive Notes
Vol. 53, No. 1, March 2015 

Description

Smile was composed in 1936 as the love theme for Charlie Chaplin’s acclaimed final silent movie Modern Times. (Even though the characters never spoke, earning the movie its “silent” moniker, there were sound effects and a score.) Some two decades later John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added lyrics to Chaplin’s melody, and in 1954 Smile, sung by Nat King Cole on Capitol records, landed a spot on the Billboard charts. With its simple melody and optimistic lyrics, Smile is loved the world over and remains heartwarming and timeless almost a century after it was written.

Alex Stopa’s arrangement for solo marimba highlights the warm and mellow characteristics of the middle to lower register of the instrument while giving a casual tip of the hat to ragtime pianists such as Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller and Jelly Roll Morton. Playable by intermediate marimbists and familiar to audiences, Smile is sure to be a winning choice for percussion recitals and festivals!

Instrumentation

  • Marimba (5-octave, low C)

Reviews

Composed in 1936 for Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie Modern Times and later reaching the Billboard charts in 1954 as sung by Nat King Cole, you may not immediately recognize the tune by name, but within a few bars, not only will it become familiar, but Alex Stopa’s arrangement will make you want to “Smile.”

The melodic line is always set clearly above the texture in this adaptation. Accompaniment figures use everything from block chords to stride left hand, as well as several phrases of tastefully unassuming arpeggiated figures. Rhythmic divisions include occasional quarter-, eighth-, and sixteenth-note triplets, but the piece is set in common time throughout and mostly features quarter- and eighth-note rhythms. “Smile” is very tonal, but includes frequent chromatic pitches outside of the F-major key center. By far, the greatest challenge in performance will be executing the required intermediate-level 4-mallet techniques with enough comfort to present the tune in a relaxed, expressive, and graceful manner. 

At 3 1⁄2 minutes in length, Stopa’s arrangement is a perfect selection for casual performances, pops music recitals, and concerts. It could even be used as a formal recital encore and will make performers and audiences alike, well, you know, “Smile.”

—Josh Gottry
Percussive Notes
Vol. 53, No. 1, March 2015 



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