A comparative analysis of representative Marimba works by Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic

Jefferson Lavelle Grant III


Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic has been an active performer and composer since the late 1970s. He is the closest modern percussionists have to the tradition of the virtuoso-composer from the Romantic period. He holds degrees in composition, music theory, and percussion performance. His music merits study based on the fact that he is an accomplished marimbist who composes at the instrument. This lends to his music a uniquely idiomatic quality. The two works presented in this treatise span almost twenty years of the composer's thirty-year career. The unifying element in both works is that they feature a marimba soloist as the catalyst for the compositions. The soloist is accompanied by two different settings for each respective piece; a classical orchestral instrumentation for Concerto no. 1, and a small wind ensemble for Tales from the Center of the Earth . This paper will examine and compare the form, harmonic structure, rhythmic elements, and technical challenges found in these two works. The ultimate purpose is to provide insights into Zivkovic's music for performers.