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07 Dec
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What is Marimba Instrument ?

The marimba is an instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with yarn wrapped or rubber mallets. The rubber mallets or the yarn play the part of producing musical tones. Marimba also consists of pipes that are suspended underneath the bars to amplify the sound of the wooden bars mentioned earlier.

Not so far from piano keys, the bars of a marimba have a similar arrangement. This includes groups of two and three accidentals raised vertically, overlapping the natural bars to help the performer both visually and physically.

You might almost relate it to the tune David was playing to Saul when his spirit was troubled in the Bible.

This instrument is a type of idiophone, but with a more deep, clear, and continuing to sound and lower-pitched vocal part than the xylophone. Marimba is played by a marimba player or marimbist.

Education Africa's Marimba Band Goede Hoop performing at the International Marimba and Steelpan Festival.

Modern uses of the marimba include solo performances, woodwind and brass ensembles, marimba concertos, jazz ensembles, marching band (front ensembles), drum and bugle corps, indoor percussion ensembles, and orchestral compositions.

Marimba and the narrowly-defined xylophone are part of the xylophone family, while the glockenspiel, the vibraphone, and others are in the metallophone family. Its has the widest range of any tone-plate percussion instrument.

What is a marimba sound?

Marimba's quality of sound or timbre produces a darker, richer, more mellow and more sonorous than the xylophone's. I love that the notes also resound for far longer. You might almost relate it to the tune David was playing to Saul when his spirit was troubled in the Bible.

Marimba sound depends on the diameter and hardness of the mallet head. The harder the mallet the louder the initial attack and the more prominent the higher partials. You can hardly determine the qualtity of the sound as you go lower the bottom end.

Soft mallets damp the higher partials making the quality of the sound somewhat darker, mellower, rounder and more gentle and the pitch also cannot be easily determined. This is because at the end the sound is not so loud or sounds obstraccted in someway.

What's the difference between a marimba and xylophone?

The marimba has soft tones, and the xylophone has hard tones. This difference is the result of each instrument's tuning method. Unlike the xylophone marimba is usually tuned on even-numbered harmonics. Even better with tuning on the fundamental pitch, the fourth harmonic, and the 10th harmonic.

Is marimba an African instrument?

Marimba is one of many African names for the xylophone, because African instruments bearing this name frequently have a tuned calabash resonator for each wooden bar, some if not most people who study music use the name marimba to distinguish gourd-resonated from other xylophones.

How do you play marimba instruments?

Produced by the U.S. Army Field Band, Washington, D.C.

Marimba instrument shouldn't be hard to learn especially if you are passionate about it. As a newbie, Army Field Band short video is not a comprehensive lesson to fully understand how to play marimba, but will surely get you started :-)

Final Thoughts

On your busy schedule in which ever career you are in be it Website Desing or Accounting, if you bumped into this dont hesitate to take a break and listen to a Marimba tune, you will get back to work more rejuvinated. Well I hope you now know what Marimba Instrument is and what its used for. We focused the topics mentoned below:-

  1. The family
  2. The origin
  3. The sound.
  4. Some basic training on how to play Marimba Instrument.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this unique musical instrument in the comment section below.

Comments (1)
  • author
    Luciani Okinda

    I love Marimba, a musical instrument with soothing sound and enjoyable to watch people playing it

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