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Mantle Hood

General Info

Year: 1982
Duration: c. 4:20
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Somers
Cost: Score and Parts - $19.00   |   Score Only - $0.00



Player I: Xylophone
Player II: Xylophone
Player III: Marimba
Player IV: Vibraphone

Program Notes


The music of Steve Reich, in such works as Music for Pieces of Wood, is to African Music what Implosion by Mantle Hood is to Balinese music. Hood even describes this relationship in the notes to the work. He explains that certain parts correspond to the kilitan, the kotekan or the pokok in Balinese music. The piece is for four percussionists playing two xylophones, marimba and vibraphone. The parts are not technically difficult, but take performers with experience and time to devote to perfecting good ensemble - for without good ensemble, this piece will fall flat. The piece consists of an Introduction (26 measures long) followed by six sections (each 24 measures long). Each section has a different dynamic configuration which remains the same throughout the section. Of equal importance (if not more important) is the tonal center of each section. They are as follows: Intro-Gb, Ab, B, C#, F; I-G, A, D, C, E; II-G#, A, B, C#, D #; III-Eb, Ab, B, C#, D; IV-G #, A, B, C, Db; V-F, G#, A#, C, Db; VI-F, G, A, Bb, C. If these groups of notes are played in succession, one hears a suggestion of the impressionistic style of composition - Debussy in particular. It is commonly known that Debussy was influenced by Indonesian music. John Cage was also influenced by the music of Indonesia, but he manifested this influence differently. While Debussy concerned himself with tonal considerations, John Cage was more interested in rhythmic aspects. Therefore, he wrote not for specific pitches, but rather used them as a jumping-off place for non-specific pitch relationships. Mantle Hood has managed to bring these two aspects of Balinese music together in Implosion. The pitches are distributed in groups of one through four in an overlay which creates a driving rhythmic pulse. The marimba part acts as a binder (kilitan) between the two xylophone parts, while the vibraphone always plays the melody (pokok), often in octaves. The result is a driving piece which changes color and dynamics several times. Even though Implosion is written for mallet instruments, Hood uses line score notation very effectively, because each instrument plays no more than five notes in succession. The piece is very exciting and, if played well, at the correct tempo (quarter note = 180), will create the rhythmic tension which the composer intended. Implosion is a very exciting work which I can recommend highly. It is well worth the work necessary to create a good performance. - Michael Rosen, October 1983 [1]



Commercial Discography

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Implosion - Percussion Quartet

Additional Resources