Author Identifier

Paul Tanner

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

First Supervisor

Matthew Styles

Second Supervisor

Jonathan Paget

Third Supervisor

Timothy White


The development of the concert marimba and invention of the vibraphone in the twentieth century was accompanied by a concomitant growth in repertoire for each instrument. Both belong to the core instrumentation of many new music groups, and percussionists are at times required to perform the instruments simultaneously, combining their distinct timbral personalities. However, the number of solos for the ‘marimba-vibe’ (the term I use to describe a marimba and vibraphone arranged in close proximity to each other in order to be performed by one player) without additional percussion instruments, is minimal. This gap in keyboard percussion repertoire and research remains to be thoroughly examined.

While a large body of performers, repertoire, research, and pedagogical material exists for each instrument, this research makes an examination of musical and non-musical challenges involved in the nascent solo marimba-vibe idiom, aiming to explore its potential and develop strategies to overcome technical limitations. The project involved the composition and commissioning of new works, whilst also creating annotational tools and notational approaches. These works were researched through reflexive practice as they were developed, performed, and recorded. The project aims to contribute to repertoire, technical understandings, and pedagogy for the marimba-vibe, thereby broadening the scope of the ever-expanding field of solo percussion literature.

Access Note

Access to appendices 1, 2 & 3 of this thesis is not available.

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