History Of The Marimba Essay

687 words - 3 pages

Like the instrument itself, the name ”marimba” originated in Africa; the words rimba (= xylophone with a single bar) and ma (= a great number of objects) are Bantu. In many African languages the term ma-rimba is used to describe instruments with several bars. Technically the marimba could also be described as a low-pitched xylophone. But the cultural backgrounds of the two instruments are vastly different; the marimba originated in central Africa but developed independently, this allowed it to gain its own identity and significance. The marimba has a mind-boggling theory of its fabrication, an interesting relationship with xylophones, and a ravishing tone that is used in a variety of ...view middle of the document...

The marimba is most often played as a stand alone instrument or along with other percussions in an ensemble.The ranges also are contrasts between the two instruments. The xylophone has an octave range of 2-1/2 to 4 while the marimba usually has a 3 to 5 range. Another difference is the construction of the two instruments. The xylophone has shorter resonators and is played with a mallet made of rubber or plastic. On the other hand, the marimba has longer resonators and is played with mallets made of cord or yarn. Lastly, the difference in tone can be used to distinguish the two instruments. The xylophone emits a sharper tone while the marimba emits a more mellow tone.
In the present-day, the marimba is used in a variety of different situations.
After many years of revisions, the marimba can be played in all different genres and its use is extensive. At the beginning of 21st century marimba has widely come into music schools and is being taught alongside other keyboard percussion. Recently some universities...

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