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A Study of Four-Mallet Grips Used in Playing Keyboard Percussion Instruments

Description: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of three common grips used in four-mallet playing. The three grips were referred to as (a) the Musser grip, (b) the cross stick grip No. 1, and (c) the cross stick grip No. 2. A thorough description (including illustrations) was given for each grip. The evaluation of efficiency was made through research testing, which was conducted by the author. Forty individuals participated in the research testing. Four tests were conducted, and each test had ten participants. The individuals who participated in Tests I, II and III had no previous four-mallet experience. The individuals who participated in Test IV had previous four-mallet experience. The evaluation of the efficiency covered by the four tests was limited to (a) horizontal movement of the outside mallet(s), (b) horizontal movement of the inside mallet(s), and (c) horizontal movement of the hand (s). According to Tests I, II and III, the majority of beginning four-mallet players will find the cross stick grip No. 2 the easiest and most efficient (as far as the three movements which were tested are concerned) of the three grips. However, some individuals (a much smaller percentage) will prefer either the Musser grip or the cross stick grip No. 1. Many beginners will find the Musser grip extremely difficult. A very small percentage of beginning four-mallet students will have poor efficiency using cross stick grip No. 2. According to the results of Test IV, the efficiency of the Musser grip and the cross stick grip No. 2 improve at a faster rate than does the efficiency of the cross stick grip No. 1. The movements tested in this study are extremely important when playing with four mallets. However, this study was limited to the testing of three types of horizontal movements and, ...
Date: August 1971
Creator: Glassock, Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries