Wood Songs


Item: #811912
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Wood Songs
By Brent Holl
Book and CD
32 pages

Xylophone and marimba pieces for upper elementary and middle school general music classes, especially for grades 6-8 (the book was developed with middle school music classroom students, but can easily be adapted to upper elementary students). These 10 new arrangements are in various styles including 3 jazz tunes, an Orff-style piece and several African-style marimba pieces. These are excellent for building technique and that rich, precision ensemble sound. All of the pieces have been used in concerts, classroom settings and workshops over the past several years with great success!

The included CD has studio recordings of each piece along with some live recordings of the Stewart Middle School Orff Ensemble.   

For grades 4-8, especially grades 6-8.   

Instruments used: soprano, alto, bass and contrabass xylophones; ride cymbal; high hat; jingle bells; triangle; gankogui; guiro; cabasa; shekere; maracas; claves; snare drum; kick bass; bass drum; congas; bongos; djembe.   


  • See Dees (for grades 4-8): an etude for building mallet technique; the use of Lydian mode gives the piece a light-hearted spirit.
  • Noyce (for grades 5-8): with a reggae beat.
  • The Hey Hey Jam (for grades 5-8): fast, energetic and easy to learn.
  • Jamaica Jazz (for grades 5-8): a joyous, pop-style piece that bubbles and cooks with energy.
  • Cooking Light (for grades 5-8): with a happy-go-lucky reggae feel.
  • Halloween (for grades 5-8): the bass xylophone 1 part gives students some practice with 3 mallets; the soprano melody is a chance for advanced students to work out an extended melody as a solo.
  • Jewe (for grades 5-8): means "Gathering" - fast, with exciting polytonality and 6/8 meter; parallel fourths and sevenths give the piece a primitive, haunting quality.
  • Swishy Feet (for grades 7-8): some great mallet technique featuring 16th notes highlights this piece; advanced soprano players may use 16th notes instead of quarter notes for an authentic African marimba sound.
  • Abudah (for grades 7-8): a fast, joyful marimba-style piece combining the solo/tutti style with a joyous B section that really moves.
  • Orange Juice (for grades 7-8): with a fast calypso feel; the infectious energy of this piece will motivate students to learn the syncopations and harmonies that make it go.   


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