by Justin Bunting
Studies in Rosewood is a delightful collection of 10 intermediate solos for 4-mallet marimba, each providing opportunities to focus on technique, musicianship, and analysis.
Studies in Rosewood was born out of the idea that I, both performing and teaching, too often experience a lack of theoretical understanding of the music being played. This collection is meant to guide students and teachers through three equally necessary aspects of successfully performing each of the ten etudes:
Technique, Musicianship, and Analysis
As the technical demand progresses throughout the book, so do the musical and analytical demands. Thus, students and teachers can use this book as a progressive workbook for all three means of growth as a marimbist and musician. The technique section preceding each etude gives suggestions of exercises to use as a warm-up before practicing the music, as well as tips for especially difficult passages. The musicianship section includes information about style, musicality, phrasing, and how to practice musically (not just focusing on correct notes with no musicality). Finally, the analysis section allows for a theoretical discussion about elements such as form, meter, chord quality, and Roman numeral analysis. The intended result is that after successfully performing each etude, the student feels a full sense of understanding of the music and that the student will carry this approach into more advanced literature once he or she progresses out of this collection.