Source: From the Top at Carnegie Hall: "Meeting Our Heroes"
From the Top at Carnegie Hall: "Meeting Our Heroes"
You can see the full episode and a more complete lesson plan at the From the Top at Carnegie Hall Web site.
Exclusive corporate funding provided by Liberty Mutual. Additional funding provided by the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Helen and Peter Bing, and the E.H.A. Foundation.
In this performance video segment from From the Top at Carnegie Hall, 17-year-old percussionist Jingchen Sun plays a marimba, a percussion instrument with a fascinating history. The piece she plays, "Ultimatum I," is by German composer and percussionist Nebojsa Zivkovic.
In the supplemental video segment, Jingchen tells how she came to study at the Juilliard School in New York and why the marimba is important to her. She also describes the sacrifice that her father made so that she could own her own instrument and have more practice time outside of school.
Marimba Beat: Jingchen Sun (Video)
The marimba is played in many different countries, from Zambia and Mozambique in Africa, to the Central American states of Guatemala and Honduras. All marimbas have keys that are hit with mallets and resonators that amplify the sound of the keys. But from there, the variations are infinite. As seen in the video segment, Jingchen Sun plays a five-octave marimba (the piano, another percussion instrument, has 11 octaves), but marimbas come in both larger and smaller sizes.
Music for the marimba is also very diverse, from classical pieces like the one played by Jingchen to folk, hip hop, electronic, marching band, and jazz tunes. The classical marimba has keys made of special hardwoods (such as rosewood) and resonators that are metal or wood. But marimbas can be made of many different materials depending on what is locally available. The keys might be wood, metal, or even plastic. The resonators might be plastic or wooden tubes, bottles, or gourds.
In this video segment, Jingchen plays "Ultimatum I" by Nebojsa Joan Zivkovic (born in Germany in 1962). Zivkovic is a prolific composer for percussion and an accomplished marimba player. He is known for innovative instrumentation, and the titles of some of his works reflect his adventurous spirit: "The Castle of the Mad King," "Generally Spoken It Is Nothing But Rhythm," and "Tales from the Center of the Earth."
To read more about Jingchen's life and to hear her perform a piece by Japanese composer and marimbist Keiko Abe on From the Top's radio program, check out From the Top.
To learn about vibraphonist and composer Stefon Harris, 30, a rising star of the jazz world, and to hear his music, check out NPR's JazzSet.
To see what happens when you combine a marimba, a computer, some tennis balls, and a few teenagers, check out "Ping Balls + Robot + You = Music" on the NPR show The Bryant Park Project.
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We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.