Barbara Kirkby-Mason (1910 – 2000)
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.