“Dear Charlie”: A Collection of Songs for Marimba and Voice

“Dear Charlie”: A Collection of Songs for Marimba and Voice


Nathan Smith


Download Paper (.pdf) (2.3 MB)

Download Presentation (.pdf) (40.3 MB)

Download Scores (.pdf) (2.0 MB)

Download Audio Files (.zip) (188.1 MB)

Download Videos (.zip) (1409.2 MB)


At its core, Music can be described as a form of communication; of what we cannot achieve only through speech. By intertwining melody and the human voice, we are able to attain a level of personal expression that transcends gender, age, race, social class, and more. By contrast, music can also be meaningless; an exercise of learned muscle memory through repetition, void of emotion. The music in the marimba world has strayed dangerously close to the latter by creating a trend of music that is technically demanding, time consuming, and largely unpalatable for the audience, isolating the instrument to chamber halls and jury rooms. I have written a collection of six pieces for marimba and voice, drawing on techniques in the song writing tradition in an attempt to bring the marimba to a new genre. By using the marimba as a singer-songwriter tool, we can introduce the instrument to a mainstream market, helping create more performance and occupational opportunities, and shedding light on this wonderful instrument.

Publication Date



Valencia (Spain) Campus


Project Components: paper (.pdf), presentation (.pdf), scores (.pdf), audio files (ZIP file containing 5 .wav files, 1 .m4a file), videos (ZIP file containing 6 .mp4 files).

“Dear Charlie”: A Collection of Songs for Marimba and Voice