Can the timbre of a marimba be changed?

Asked by: Ian Tinsley

The pitch (height of the notes) of a marimba is fixed by the tone plates and cannot be shifted. This makes the marimba different from, for example, string instruments, with which players can adjust the sounds of each string.

What changes the timbre of an instrument?

The primary contributers to the quality or timbre of the sound of a musical instrument are harmonic content, attack and decay, and vibrato. For sustained tones, the most important of these is the harmonic content, the number and relative intensity of the upper harmonics present in the sound.

How is sound produced on a marimba?

The sound of a marimba is produced by hitting the tone plates with mallets. Marimbas are close relatives to the xylophone, the vibraphone, and the glockenspiel. They are all like cousins. All of these have tuned bars arranged like a keyboard.

What is percussion timbre?

The timbre or sonority of an instrument or voice is the colour, character or quality of sound it produces. Music. Music theory.

What makes the marimba unique?

The marimba is a non-transposing instrument with no octave displacement, unlike the xylophone which sounds one octave higher than written and the glockenspiel which sounds two octaves higher than written.

How would you describe the sound of a marimba?

Dark, mellow, gentle, velvety, earthy, full, sonorous, dull, hollow, resonant, round, melodious, wooden. The sound of the marimba is composed of the attack and resonance, which in the low register can last for two to three seconds.

What do resonators do on a marimba?

Beneath the tone plates of a marimba, metal resonator pipes are affixed. Attached to every tone plate is one pipe, which makes the note resonate fully when the bar is hit with a mallet. The length of the resonator pipe also changes depending on the pitch of the tone plate. The lower the note, the longer.

Is a marimba pitched or Unpitched?

Pitched Percussion is any instrument that has actually musical pitch (like the piano). Pitched percussion instruments include the xylophone, marimba, vibraphone and timpani.

What are resonators for marimba made of?


The material used to make resonator pipes is metal.

What type of music uses marimba?

Marimbas are most commonly used to play classical music. The different types of marimba music include classical music, pop music, jazz music, and both classic and modern rock. Many different genres of music can be played using the marimba, meaning that most other types of music could be added to the list.

Is marimba a definite pitch?

When we refer to definite pitch, we mean a sound that can be discerned from other sounds. The percussion instruments that clearly have a definite pitch include the xylophone, marimba, and drum.

Who invented marimba?

The first modern marimba was created by Mexican musician called Manuel Bolan Cruz in 1850. He lengthened the legs to allow players to stand while playing, he enlarged the keyboard and added the wooden resonators.

Is the marimba African?

Marimba is one of many African names for the xylophone, and, because African instruments bearing this name frequently have a tuned calabash resonator for each wooden bar, some ethnomusicologists use the name marimba to distinguish gourd-resonated from other xylophones.

What kind of wood are marimbas made of?


A type of lumber called rosewood has long been used to make tone plates. This is a heavy tree harvested in Central and South America. Trees aged between 200 and 400 years are felled. In addition to rosewood, a slightly reddish wood called African padauk is sometimes used.

What is a marimba player called?

1) A marimba player is called a… um… marimba player, but a more fun word that’s also used is marimbist.