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Topic: Xylophone and Flutes

  1. #1

    Xylophone and Flutes

    I have a fast, staccato passage which features trumpet jabs and answering phrases, an octave higher, with triads consisting of a piccolo and two flutes. What is the best way to add a xylophone to the woodwind part, for added emphasis? Should I just double the top voice (piccolo) with single xylophone notes, in unison? Or should I double the whole chord (triads in the xylophone part, in unison with the woodwind voices)? Or something else?

    Allegro Data Solutions

  2. #2

    Re: Xylophone and Flutes

    In a fast passage, I would think that doubling the melodic portion of the phrase would be sufficient to get the attack and sound you are looking for. Remember the part is usually played by and actual musician and playing full chords with 2, 3, or 4 mallets in ones hands would be difficult if not impossible and fast tempi.

    Of course, you could have multiple players playing parts but I think for clarity a single note on the melodic notes would give you what you are looking for. Always use your ear as a final judge on if that sound is really what you are looking for.

    Best of luck on this new piece. I look forward to hearing it.
    [Music is the Rhythm, Harmony and Breath of Life]
    "Music is music, and a note's a note" - Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong


  3. #3

    Re: Xylophone and Flutes

    Thanks for the advice. It's exactly what I need. In my score, all the mallets and pitched percussion (except timpani) will be played on a MIDI keyboard, so the difficulty with chords is not an issue. That said, the passage is rather fast and, if in practice it would be most effective to double only for the melody line (top voice), then I would want to do it that way. Like most aspects of theater, composing a musical seems to be all about meeting the audience's expectations before you can take them someplace exciting and new.

    Allegro Data Solutions

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