Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Scott Herring


Over the course of the last century, literature for the solo marimba has been greatly expanded by a wide variety of composers to include nearly every contemporary style and genre. One such area of expansion is the use of electronic effect, defined as the augmentation of the acoustic marimba using looping and delay technologies in live performance. This study illuminates the history of electronic effect technology and briefly describes the technological options employed in the genre of marimba with electronic effect. Concepts specific to the genre are also addressed; specifically, the terminology of rhythmic delay and harmonic delay. To introduce these concepts, two works by Australian composer Nigel Westlake are discussed: Fabian Theory (1987) and The Hinchinbrook Riffs (2003). A brief analysis of these works illustrates the concepts of rhythmic and harmonic delay in action. In addition to these works, two compositions commissioned as a part of this study are also analyzed to show the structural importance of rhythmic and harmonic delay: chasing the mania (2015) by Brett William Dietz and Plasma Trails (2015) by George Fetner. Finally, the study of two areas of potential growth in the genre – the transcription of music for acoustic guitar and electronic effect, as well as the application of delay and looping technologies to music not originally composed for these technologies – helps to bolster and sustain the genre of marimba with electronic effect for the foreseeable future.