Composer: Nigel Westlake

Title: Fabian Theory

Category: Percussion Solo

Instrumentation: Marimba (4.3 octave), 3 tom-toms, digital delay, and looping pedal

Difficulty: Intermediate

Publisher: Rimshot Music


An electronic delay system is employed throughout the piece, serving to reproduce the ‘live’ signal 566 milliseconds (about  half a second ) after it has been played, thereby building a multi-marimba illusion & creating rhythmic counterpoint against the live performance.

The player is requested to play in tight synchronisation with the delayed signal & by moving through a number of tempo changes, different rhythmic effects are achieved.

The use of the delay gives rise to the title, which is a reference to the great Roman dictator, Fabius Maximus who was victorious due to the use of delay tactics in battle.


Fabian Theory was commissioned by Synergy Percussion with  financial assistance from the music board  of the Australia council.


Annotated by Dan Pessalano