marimba or xylophone


So of course I didn’t get up at my usual 5 or 6 AM this morning since I’ve laying in bed longer this past week. That means I don’t have as much time to do stuff like read and blog. I did, however, do Greek.

Concert features local organist Rhonda Sider Edgington, and unusual cominations

Rhonda managed to get an article in the local paper about the concert today. In it, she is quite complimentary of me. I thanked her yesterday.

I listened to Rhonda and Dave the marimba player rehearse my piece yesterday. That was lots of fun. They are both fine musicians and were a delight to work with.

Dave was interested in the fact that I own an old marimba. We went over to the church after rehearsal so he could see it. He figured it dates from 1916 making it almost a hundred years old. Also it’s in pretty good shape and could be refurbished into a decent instrument.

Not my instrument, but this one looks a lot like mine.

I finally learned the definitive difference between a marimba and a xylophone. It’s the sounds. Different partials are present in the tone of each key. A marimba has a prominent octave partial. This makes the sound a bit more mellow. Dave demonstrated this for me with my instrument by striking a key and damping it and listening for the sympathetic vibration of a higher key. This is something one can also do on the piano: exciting a higher string in sympathy with a quiet but certain harmonic or partial.

The xylophone has a prominent fifth partial thus sounding brighter. So even though xylophones tend to have shorter resonators and the keys are sometimes a bit thicker it’s ┬áthe sounds of the two that makes the actual difference. Dave also figured out that my instrument was called a marimba/xylophone when it was made. He suspected that xylophones were developed a bit later.

My pregame rehearsal before church is in an hour and I have to have breakfast and get dressed. So that’s all I have time for today.

By the way, my hits yesterday dropped to a record low of about 20 hits. Not sure what that means but thanks for reading!

As I was chatting to Dave the marimba player I told him that I purchased my marimba to play the music of the Baja Marimba Band and Herb Alpert’s group. You’ve probably never head of them, right?

“I keep their records in my studio,” he replied.

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