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For purchases with free delivery, please shop on… https://t.co/GG34pA6AnJ, Todd Sucherman’s Limited Edition 22” Session Ride is truly a one-of-a-kind masterpiece! Octave-tuning involves tuning the fundamental and 4th overtone. ‘Marimba’ derives from a Bantu root found throughout East Africa, which traveled with the Spanish slave trade to Central America, in particular Guatemala. https://t.co/5H9C8Q59zg, You’re very welcome! Posted May 14th, 2013 by Bob Becker. Please be polite. In fact, they are preferred over timpani mallets, whose wood cores can be damaged and destroyed by the vibration of cymbals. The earliest marimbas manufactured in North America were produced by the J.C. Deagan company, and included a unique instrument called a Nabimba ­– a word Deagan himself concocted, but obviously a take on ‘marimba’. If marimba and vibraphone mallets are very similar, can they be used for the same purpose? Learn how your comment data is processed. Would love your thoughts, please comment. Xylophone vs. Marimba: more thoughts. Chimes have the most complex tuning system of any mallet percussion instruments. Its flexibility is better suited to vibraphone techniques like mallet dampening. The first documented xylophone he constructed was in 1893, and had only a diatonic keyboard and no resonators. Welcome back to the Chops blog! My 5.0 octave Deagan 268 xylophone is a case in point, as are some instruments called for in the repertoire, such as the tenor xylophone part in Orff’s Catulli Carmina. Xylophone vs. Marimba - More Thoughts By Bob Becker , first published May 14, 2013 In April, 2013 I received an email from Jesse Strauss, a student at Belmont University, asking for my thoughts about an article by Vida Chenoweth in which she reached some conclusions about the terms ‘xylophone’ and ‘marimba’. Glockenspiel vs Vibraphone vs Marimba vs Xylophone. ‘Xylophone’ is a technical term, with classical Greek roots (xylo = wood; phone = sound), as I probably pointed out in my clinic. However, vibraphone mallets can be used on the marimba for a clear, cutting tone. Or are even they scratching their heads on the topic? In addition to their respective instruments, both mallets can also be used to play suspended cymbals. The head of both style mallets contain a rubber core, but the material wrapped around that core varies. Posted May 14th, 2013 by Bob Becker. These modes are nearly in t… The main difference is that it has a more resonant and lower-pitched “sweet spot” compared to the xylophone. Marimba vs. Xylophone Newbies often end up mixing up the marimba and xylophone, and that is mainly because: They both belong to the struck idiophones family (which also includes the glockenspiel and vibraphone) The resulting superior sound and projection of Deagan instruments made them the standard of excellence for several decades. Glockenspiels and vibraphones use the same tuning system as the marimba: octave-tuning. According to Grove Music Online, “An interesting acoustical property of chimes is that there is no mode of vibration with a frequency at, or even near, the pitch of the strike tone one hears. Note the differences in appearance between the Vic Firth marimba and vibraphone mallets below. If you read books like Curt Sachs’ The History of Musical Instruments, you find the word xylophone as the principal heading for all wooden-keyed instruments. See you next time! The xylophone originated in Africa and the marimba comes from Germany. In some organological texts the word marimba is used in a technical way to indicate the presence of resonators of any type, including the traditional African kinds made from spherical gourds. The soft yarn heads of marimba mallets limit their volume, and therefore effectiveness, on the vibraphone. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked. Starting March 19th, we will be open for curbside service only. Is the difference that you established in your clinic one that has evolved over the years, making this very old article simply out-of-date? Like the xylophone, the marimba is considered an idiophone. We appreciate that. Both are commonly available in birch or rattan, but marimbists and vibraphonists have different preferences. All of the Nabimba resonators, which were individually tunable, had the traditional African/Central American feature of a membrane mounted over a small hole (as on a kazoo), creating a buzzing effect for the sound. The M1 on the left is a popular marimba mallet. The marimba will sound two pitches higher due to its musical notes written always two eighths lower than the marimba. It would appear that is the view taken in Chenoweth’s article. Although modeled on Guatemalan marimbas, the resonators were tubular and made of brass, as opposed to the wooden box-style resonators found on Central American instruments. BB: Vida Chenoweth is not only a great marimbist, but also a trained and experienced (ethno)musicologist and researcher. Incredible articulation,… https://t.co/xD3r5SJX7t, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Band Moms our there! The marimba’s bars are arranged like the keys on a piano or keyboard. Yes, but only in certain circumstances. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Marimba mallets use a softer yarn than vibraphone mallets, which use cord. In this video, Dave Samuels, with the Caribbean Jazz Project, uses vibraphone mallets while soloing on the marimba and then comping on the vibraphone. Or was there really once disagreement or confusion over the topic, even among professionals such as Chenoweth and others? So, I am wondering what your opinion is on the matter. As I was flipping through an old anthology of percussion articles from The Instrumentalist magazine, I came across one by Vida Chenoweth entitled “The Differences Among Xylophone, Marimba, and Vibraphone” (published in 1961). The xylophone has a range of 3-4 eighths while the marimba has a range of 2.5 to 3 eighths. Modern xylophones – at least the ones made by the major manufacturers in the US and Japan – share the same construction features with marimbas: rosewood keyboards, well-engineered frames, and precisely-tuned resonators. Some Thoughts and Information Concerning Cymbals, Marimbaphone / Vibraphone Questions – Feb. 20, 2009, NEXUS Performs with Marimba Soloist Leigh Howard Stevens. The differences between marimba and vibraphone mallets begin with the materials used in their construction. J.C. Deagan studied the physics of musical acoustics, and his company became renowned for precise tuning as well as the inclusion of resonating tubes for each bar, whether on metallophones, xylophones, or marimbas. Despite Chenoweth’s academically accurate comments, I stand by my original statement that both the meaning and derivation of the terms ‘xylophone’ and ‘marimba’ depend on who is using them (the terms as well as the instruments), and when. Serious soloists will have several sets in varying styles and hardness (see our previous mallet FAQ on marimba mallet hardness) available in their mallet bag. Some companies offer alternative overtone tuning (as introduced by Deagan in 1927); however, the main differentiating factor is transposition. In Glockenspiel metal bars are used, while in Vibraphone and Xylophone wooden bars are used. JS: I am a student at Belmont University, and I also attended the LHS seminar last summer – it was a pleasure seeing your clinic in both New Jersey and Nashville! Her definitions of the terms xylophone and marimba are in line with many classic studies of organology, which is the study of musical instrument classification. The Deagan Nabimbas were available in ranges of 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 5.0 octaves (C2 to C7). The first keyboard instruments made by the American percussion pioneer John Calhoun Deagan were, I believe, glockenspiels (real ones, with steel bars). Below is Jesse’s email, and my response to him about it. Vibraphone is used in Jazz music while Xylophone is used in western style music. The M25 vibraphone mallet on the right was designed by Gary Burton, the world’s foremost vibraphonist. 2020 Indiana Percussion Association Virtual Clinic Week, PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Meinl Drumsticks and Brushes, Last Week For PASIC Early Registration Discount, Upgrade Your Beginning Percussion Rental at Chops, It’s Vintage: Restoring a Ludwig Drum Set. We hope this guide has helped you understand the difference between marimba and vibraphone mallets. Marimbists typically prefer the rigidity of birch shafts, while vibraphonists favor rattan. It’s similar to a term like metallophone; although xylophone is also a vernacular term that people use for many kinds of instruments, including toy glockenspiels. All these are members of percussion family and are used almost all over the world in different forms. I am also curious about your own experience as you have traveled around giving this clinic; I imagine most students are stumped by the opening question, but do most professionals seem to know the answer?

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