Ragtime Xylophone Intensive (hands-on course)

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The aim of the course is to provide a conceptual framework for performance of the classic solo xylophone repertoire of the first half of the twentieth century. The main thrust will be toward developing a general feeling for style and a basic acquaintance with the repertoire, as well as defining approaches to improvisation via the performance styles of Green, Herman, et al. The primary practical work will be concerned with developing two mallet facility and the development of a functional ability to create spontaneous variations on standard chord progressions using a variety of improvisational styles. Regular reference will be made to recordings of the period, published compositions and lesson books of George H. Green and others, and a selection of standard popular songs of the 1920s. It is not required that students be accomplished improvisers, however it is necessary that they know the fundamentals of music theory. It is expected that all participants will already be familiar with basic chords and scales in all keys. Three 2-hour sessions, minimum.

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