Method Of Movement for Marimba: with 590 exercises

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Leigh Howard Stevens

General Info

Year: 1990
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publisher: KPP

25th Anniversary Edition

Year: 2005
Publisher: Charles Dumont & Sons
Cost: $71.02
ISBN:‎ 978-0-9821-1260-1
Pages: 108



Chapter I:
Chapter II:
Chapter III:
Chapter IV:
Chapter V:
Chapter VI:


The literature was considered by a single person to be practically and musically inefficient until the new four-mallet system was developed by Mr. Stevens. The four-mallet method has been acquired by several players and composers. The book was converted into six different translations. Much of the existing marimba playing method, the style has fundamentally improved with the technique of Leigh Howard Stevens’. The book offers a guide around natural motion which can help with the production of sound, Stevens grip, and what material is used to make it, and afterward, harness this method while playing.

Student Reviews

Organization: The table of contents is preceded by a brief dedication and follows with a preface, with the rest of the book being divided into two parts: Part 1 – The Method of Movement and Part 2 – Exercises.

Content: Part 1 consists of the author’s philosophy behind the methodology in this book, sticking, grips, stroke height, efficiency with strokes, shifts, and interval changes, tone, independence, and other strokes. Part 2 provides exercises for single independent and alternating strokes as well as double vertical and lateral strokes and mixed strokes.

Uses: An instructor could use this book as a resource for themselves, but may only be able to apply its readings to college level students and higher, as the reading is not written in a way that would be very understandable for younger students and may not be as practical with the music they usually encounter. A professional could be the desired audience for this book as the author states that the book does not answer questions about other aspects of marimba playing that have gone unanswered in the past, and only a professional may know what these questions are and thus are the only ones pursuing this information with an exception being college students wanting to refine their marimba playing.

Rating: This book provides a deep, detailed understanding of the method described by the author, and a percussionist looking to adopt this methodology in their playing would do well to use this book to achieve that. While some aspects of the book are hard to read in terms of the writing, the exercises provided are designed to be played once or twice a year each so the author expects the reader to implement the teaching of this book in the long term. I am unable to say if the teaching of this book can be effectively used by all players with all types of mallets or styles of playing, but the book does introduce an interesting way of thinking about the movements between notes while playing instead of the notes themselves. 5/5. User:Hondogracias


Additional Study Materials

Works for Percussion by this Author

Stevens, Leigh Howard. Method Of Movement for Marimba: with 590 exercises, 2nd edition. Asbury Park, New Jersey, Marimba Productions Inc. 1990

Additional Resources