Orchestral Percussion

3-octave glockenspiel

  • 1.  3-octave glockenspiel

    Posted 01-01-2015 16:25



    I'm working on the mallet part for Copland's Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo. In the Buckaroo Holiday (1st) movement, the glock part between rehearsal 31 and 34 calls for D4, D5, and D6. This would seem to require a 3-octave glock.


    As I only have access to the common 2.5-octave type, does anyone have a suggestion as to how to handle this part?


    I noticed a similar issue in the glock part in Holst's Jupiter, as it called for notes above the range of a 2.5-octave glock as usually notated. However, that one seemed solvable by just transposing one octave instead of the usual two. Is that the common practice?


    Thanks for any and all advice.


    Robert Hennes

  • 2.  RE: 3-octave glockenspiel

    Posted 01-02-2015 10:03
      |   view attached
    Hi Robert,
    If you don't have access to a glockenspiel with a high D (like the attached photo from California Percussion Rental) you have to use your best judgment on which "D" to play down an octave based on the other instruments you are playing with in the orchestra, or in keeping the shape of the musical line playing entire passages down, in the case of other repertoire with "high Ds." (Holst, Debussy, etc.)

    Listen to recordings of orchestras and see how other players have solved the problem and choose the solution that sounds best to your ear for the first rehearsal, then do what the conductor requests if he/she doesn't like your solution. You might also check out rental prices and have a ready answer for a conductor who insists on playing the part "as printed."

    For the future, if you find a glockenspiel for sale with the high C# and D, buy it. If you are the guy who owns the instruments you will get the call to either play the concert, rent the instruments, or both.

    Others may have suggestions about what sounds best in the Copland.

    Hope that helps.

    John R. Beck
    PAS - Past President 

  • 3.  RE: 3-octave glockenspiel

    Posted 01-04-2015 00:24
    Thank you for the advice. This a community orchestra, so rental is not within the budget. On the plus side, our conductor is unlikely to object to whatever approach I choose to take. :-)

    Robert Hennes