Mango Walk

Barbara Kirkby-Mason


Barbara Kirkby-Mason (1910 – 2000)

  1. Born in England
  2. In the 1920s  she studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music where she won the Sterndale Bennett prize for her playing of Mozart. Between 1931 and 1983 she had over 70 piano works published.
  3. In 1934 Barbara Kirkby-Mason gave her solo debut recital on BBC radio and in 1986 her Fantasy-Rondo For Guitar was premiered at the Wigmore Hall, London.


Generations of young people who studied piano music from the 1950s to the 1980s would have been familiar with the piano tutors written by Barbara Kirkby-Mason. Her collections of music provided a valuable course in the development of piano playing for children and adults. The Modern Piano Course and The Adult Beginner contained music which was original and fun to play.

Titles of her pieces such as The Hobby Horse, Catch Me If You Can, A Fairy Lullaby and Happy Song, from the earliest piano album, are typical examples. She travelled the world giving lectures and support for teachers in which musical concepts were stripped of academic jargon and always combined with a sense of fun.

Mango Walk is an arrangement of a traditional song from Jamaica in the West Indies. The expression ‘go mango walk’ means to steal another person’s mango fruits. This is in a lively contemporary musical style with catchy off-beat rhythms and syncopations.


  • This is duet so the piece will only be complete when played with your duet partner who will usually be your teacher
  • The quavers should be played evenly throughout so need careful finger control
  • The melody needs to flow evenly between the hands in bars 2, 3 and 4 without he lower notes standing out:
  • There are lots of opportunities to articulate the melody more crisply too to give the piece more life. Like this for example:
  • Articulation is also very important in the duet part (teacher part). Here they are playing together:
  • Hold the pauses for a good length of time and practice these with your duet partner so you know what to expect when you are playing together:
  • And also the pause at the end making sure you both end the final chord crisply and exactly together:

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