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March of the Gnomes by Martha Mier


This sprightly tune conjures up visions of mythical creatures of the underland...gnomes. In Martha Mier's "March of the Gnomes," I sense mischief. Perhaps these gnomes come to life, marching on a midnight caper that produces all kinds of comedic shenanigans. Once they have thoroughly played out their parade of tricks, they return to lifeless statues, making us wonder..."What happened here!?"

Students will be enthusiastic about the bouncing accompaniment and minor tonality, which evokes a sneaky, mischievous character. Great use of dissonance and accents further heightens the dynamic quality of this piece. There is a lot the student can work on regarding story, interpretation, and musical expression.

"March of the Gnomes" at a Glance

Level: Elementary

Key: C minor (written without key signature)

Tempo: Andante Moderato

Hand-size limitations: Blocked fifth is the largest interval.

Technical Challenges:

  • The mixed articulations between hands can be particularly challenging for students who have had little experience coordinated a legato melody with a staccato accompaniment. Measures 12-13 are most difficult in this regard.

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