An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have focused on CD and MP3 formats; the audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s. An album may be recorded in a recording studio, in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places; the time frame for recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live" when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes. Recordings, including live, may contain sound effects, voice adjustments, etc..
With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones. Album covers and liner notes are used, sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, lyrics or librettos; the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums; when long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album. An album, in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees and other public notices were inscribed in black, it was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, sketches and the like are collected. Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.
In the early nineteenth century "album" was used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. When 78rpm records came out, the popular 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, it ran for 8m 59s. Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package; this practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been taken up by other record companies for many years. By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records.
These albums came in both 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album; the 12-inch LP record, or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Apart from minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.
The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, in the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" i
Rockette Morton is an American musician, best known as a bassist and guitarist for Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1963, after moving to Lancaster, Boston joined up with future Magic Band member Bill Harkleroad in a band named B. C. & the Cavemen. He was given the nickname "Rockette Morton" by Captain Beefheart after becoming a member of the Magic Band. Morton played on five of Beefheart's albums: Trout Mask Replica, Lick My Decals Off Baby, The Spotlight Kid, Clear Spot and Unconditionally Guaranteed, he played bass, but switched to rhythm guitar after former Little Feat bassist Roy Estrada joined the band. In the book Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo's Captain Beefheart Experience, guitarist Bill Harkleroad details some of the tensions that arose between Beefheart and members of the band; these tensions led to a split in 1974, when Rockette Morton left to form Mallard with bandmates John French, Bill Harkleroad, Art Tripp. Mallard released two albums, Mallard and In A Different Climate.
Following the band's demise, Morton continued performing in various groups as bassist. Morton released a solo album, Love Space, in 2003, about which he wrote: "If you enjoy listening to this music half as much as I enjoyed recording it, I did my job." It was recorded at his music studio in South Carolina. Prior to the album's release he was featured in an article in the music magazine Stomp & Stammer, titled "The Ring of Rockette Morton", in which he self-identified as "a space nut" and being "pro-space", he was 52 years old at the time and was living in a mobile home, decorated with alien and rocket ship models. In 2003 Morton and other former members of the Magic Band regrouped and embarked on a world tour, performing Captain Beefheart's music, they have continued to tour as the Magic Band since then. Trout Mask Replica Lick My Decals Off, Baby The Spotlight Kid Clear Spot Unconditionally Guaranteed Mallard In a Different Climate Love Space Ant-Bee: Electronic Church Muzik Harkleroad, Bill.
Lunar Notes: Zoot Horn Rollo's Captain Beefheart Experience. Interlink Publishing. ISBN 0-946719-21-7. Extensive Biographical Information Mallard web pages online since 1995 Rockette Morton
Singing is the act of producing musical sounds with the voice and augments regular speech by the use of sustained tonality, a variety of vocal techniques. A person who sings is called a vocalist. Singers perform music that can be sung without accompaniment by musical instruments. Singing is done in an ensemble of musicians, such as a choir of singers or a band of instrumentalists. Singers may perform as soloists or accompanied by anything from a single instrument up to a symphony orchestra or big band. Different singing styles include art music such as opera and Chinese opera, Indian music and religious music styles such as gospel, traditional music styles, world music, blues and popular music styles such as pop, electronic dance music and filmi. Singing arranged or improvised, it may be done as a form of religious devotion, as a hobby, as a source of pleasure, comfort or ritual, as part of music education or as a profession. Excellence in singing requires time, dedication and regular practice.
If practice is done on a regular basis the sounds can become more clear and strong. Professional singers build their careers around one specific musical genre, such as classical or rock, although there are singers with crossover success, they take voice training provided by voice teachers or vocal coaches throughout their careers. In its physical aspect, singing has a well-defined technique that depends on the use of the lungs, which act as an air supply or bellows. Though these four mechanisms function independently, they are coordinated in the establishment of a vocal technique and are made to interact upon one another. During passive breathing, air is inhaled with the diaphragm while exhalation occurs without any effort. Exhalation may be aided by lower pelvis/pelvic muscles. Inhalation is aided by use of external intercostals and sternocleidomastoid muscles; the pitch is altered with the vocal cords. With the lips closed, this is called humming; the sound of each individual's singing voice is unique not only because of the actual shape and size of an individual's vocal cords but due to the size and shape of the rest of that person's body.
Humans have vocal folds which can loosen, tighten, or change their thickness, over which breath can be transferred at varying pressures. The shape of the chest and neck, the position of the tongue, the tightness of otherwise unrelated muscles can be altered. Any one of these actions results in a change in pitch, timbre, or tone of the sound produced. Sound resonates within different parts of the body and an individual's size and bone structure can affect the sound produced by an individual. Singers can learn to project sound in certain ways so that it resonates better within their vocal tract; this is known as vocal resonation. Another major influence on vocal sound and production is the function of the larynx which people can manipulate in different ways to produce different sounds; these different kinds of laryngeal function are described as different kinds of vocal registers. The primary method for singers to accomplish this is through the use of the Singer's Formant, it has been shown that a more powerful voice may be achieved with a fatter and fluid-like vocal fold mucosa.
The more pliable the mucosa, the more efficient the transfer of energy from the airflow to the vocal folds. Vocal registration refers to the system of vocal registers within the voice. A register in the voice is a particular series of tones, produced in the same vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, possessing the same quality. Registers originate in laryngeal function, they occur. Each of these vibratory patterns appears within a particular range of pitches and produces certain characteristic sounds; the occurrence of registers has been attributed to effects of the acoustic interaction between the vocal fold oscillation and the vocal tract. The term "register" can be somewhat confusing; the term register can be used to refer to any of the following: A particular part of the vocal range such as the upper, middle, or lower registers. A resonance area such as chest voice or head voice. A phonatory process A certain vocal timbre or vocal "color" A region of the voice, defined or delimited by vocal breaks.
In linguistics, a register language is a language which combines tone and vowel phonation into a single phonological system. Within speech pathology, the term vocal register has three constituent elements: a certain vibratory pattern of the vocal folds, a certain series of pitches, a certain type of sound. Speech pathologists identify four vocal registers based on the physiology of laryngeal function: the vocal fry register, the modal register, the falsetto register, the whistle register; this view is adopted by many vocal pedagogues. Vocal resonation is the process by which the basic product of phonation is en
Gary Lucas is an American guitarist, a member of Captain Beefheart's band. He formed the band Gods and Monsters in 1989. Lucas has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Jeff Buckley, John Cale, Nick Cave, David Johansen, Lou Reed, he has worked with Chris Cornell, The Dark Poets, DJ Spooky, Dr. John, Amanda Palmer, Bryan Ferry, The Future Sound of London, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Hammill, Warren Haynes, Jann Klose, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Melissa Mars, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Geoff Muldaur, Bob Neuwirth, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Graham Parker, Van Dyke Parks, Iggy Pop, Roswell Rudd, Fred Schneider, Richard Barone, John Sebastian, Adrian Sherwood, Patti Smith, Peter Stampfel, Damo Suzuki, Steve Swallow, Matthew Sweet, Bob Weir, John Zorn, Nona Hendryx, Emir Kusturica and the No Smoking Orchestra, Hal Willner, Kip Hanrahan, Leonard Bernstein, Elli Medeiros, Haydee Milanes, Suylen Milanes, Los Van Van, Alabama Three; some of these collaborations appear on his retrospective album Improve the Shining Hour, which features his film and TV music for ABC News, 20/20 and Turning Point.
He has produced albums for composer/saxophonists Tim Berne and Peter Gordon, for the French avant-rock band Tanger. He co-wrote Joan Osborne's Grammy-nominated song "Spider Web" from her triple platinum album Relish. Lucas was born in New York, he obtained a degree in English from Yale University, before establishing his career in music first as a college DJ and as music director at the college radio station, WYBC FM. According to his website, Lucas was encouraged by his father to try the guitar at the age of nine dabbled with other instruments at school, played in groups during his teens in the 1960s. During his last year in high school he played for the documentary film unit of the Upstate Medical Center and wrote the musical score on his first film assignment, he travelled on what he calls a "pilgrimage" to see childhood hero Captain Beefheart, with whom he became close friends. From being a Beefheart fan, he became his co-manager and performed on stage during the 1980–81 tours – reciting a poem or performing the solo guitar piece "Flavor Bud Living".
After gaining his degree, Lucas played for a few years with the O-Bay-Gone Band before gaining a significant step in his career during 1980–82, when he was engaged to record on two Beefheart albums released by Virgin Records, on one of which he was full-time lead alongside Moris Tepper. Lucas performed over a period of five years with the last incarnation of Beefheart's Magic Band, his solo guitar pieces on Doc at the Radar Station and Ice Cream for Crow were his renditions of Beefheart's instrumental compositions, "Flavor Bud Living" and "Evening Bell". After Captain Beefheart retired in the 1980s, Lucas continued to be associated with the Magic Band's former members. Several of Beefheart's former band members reformed the group, touring as the Magic Band from 2003–2006, their 2007 double album and DVD, 21st Century Mirror Men, followed up their debut album Back to the Front, chosen as one of the best albums of 2004 by The Wire. In 1988, Lucas performed at New York's Knitting Factory. Shortly after, he was invited to appear at the 1988 JazzFest Berlin.
In 2006 Lucas co-led a Beefheart tribute band, Fast'n' Bulbous: the Captain Beefheart Project, which appeared at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival and the Jazz Em Agosto Festival in Lisbon during 2006. Their debut album Pork Chop Blue Around the Rind was profiled on NPR and charted on college radio in the United States. In Fall 2006, they toured Europe extensively, selling out shows at the London Jazz Festival, in Amsterdam's Bimhuis, as well as playing in Bern, Switzerland; the group released its second album, Waxed Oop, on Cuneiform Records in 2008. In 2006, Lucas toured Europe with Phillip Johnston and five other jazz musicians as the Gary Lucas and Phillip Johnston Septet; the group performed jazz arrangements of Captain Beefheart's work in London, Bern, Vienna and Ljubljana. 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of Beefheart's album Safe as Milk, saw Lucas engaged in numerous projects to mark the occasion. This included feature coverage in MOJO Magazine that coincided with the Captain Beefheart Weekend in Liverpool, where Lucas served on a panel at the participating Bluecoat Gallery.
Lucas collaborated with a group of Danish musicians for a Captain Beefheart tribute EP in 2017. In collaboration with Dutch DJ/producer Co de Cloet, the final interview given by Don Van Vliet was set to music composed by Lucas. Titled "I Have a Cat," it was released on OkayMusic. In September 2017, the new Captain Beefheart tribute ensemble The World of Captain Beefheart, led by Lucas and Nona Hendryx, performed an album teaser performance at the Public Theater; the self-titled album was released in November 2017 on Knitting Factory Records. January 22, 2018 saw a special multimedia performance of The World of Captain Beefheart at City Winery NYC. Lucas first met Jeff Buckley in New York at the 1990 Tim Buckley tribute concert. Jeff Buckley stayed in New York and joined Lucas's band and Monsters. Lucas composed solo guitar instrumentals for "Rise Up to Be" and "And You Will", which became the musical templates for "Grace" and "Mojo Pin", which Lucas co-wrote with Buckley for his popular and critically acclaimed album Grace.
Early collaborations can be heard on the Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas album Songs to No One, which charted internationally with worldwide sales approaching 100,000. In the film Greetings from Tim Buckley], Penn Badgely plays Buckley, Tony Award winner Frank Wood plays Gary Lucas. Emily Duff (her last name was her maid
The bass clarinet is a musical instrument of the clarinet family. Like the more common soprano B♭ clarinet, it is pitched in B♭, but it plays notes an octave below the soprano B♭ clarinet. Bass clarinets in other keys, notably C and A exist, but are rare. Bass clarinets perform in orchestras, wind ensembles/concert bands in marching bands, play an occasional solo role in contemporary music and jazz in particular. Someone who plays a bass clarinet is called a bass clarinetist. Most modern bass clarinets are straight-bodied, with a small upturned silver-colored metal bell and curved metal neck. Early examples varied in some having a doubled body making them look similar to bassoons; the bass clarinet is heavy and is supported either with a neck strap or an adjustable peg attached to its body. While Adolphe Sax imitated its upturned metal bell in his design of the larger saxophones, the two instruments are fundamentally different. Bass clarinet bodies are most made of grenadilla or plastic resin, while saxophones are made of metal.
More all clarinets have a bore, the same diameter along the body. This cylindrical bore differs from the saxophone's conical one and gives the clarinet its characteristic tone, causing it to overblow at the twelfth compared with the saxophone's octave. A majority of modern bass clarinets, like other clarinets in the family, have the Boehm system of keys and fingering. However, bass clarinets are manufactured in Germany with the Oehler system of keywork, most known as the'German" system in the US, because it is used in Germany and Austria, as well as Eastern Europe and Turkey. Most modern Boehm system bass clarinets have an "extension" key allowing them to play to the E♭; this key was added to allow easy transposition of parts for the rare bass clarinet pitched in A, but it now finds significant use in concert band and other literature. A significant difference between soprano and bass clarinet key work is a key pad played by the left-hand index finger with a vent that may be uncovered for certain high notes.
This allows a form of "half-hole" fingering that allows notes in higher registers to be played on the instrument. In addition, older bass clarinets have two register keys, one for middle D♯ and below, the other for middle E and higher. Newer models only have one, mechanically performing the role of two separate register keys. Many professional and advanced bass clarinetists own instruments with extensions down to a C (sounding B♭ identical to the bassoon's lowest B♭, two octaves below written middle C. At concert pitch this note is the B♭ below the second ledger line below the bass staff or B♭1 in scientific pitch notation. Overall, the instrument sounds an octave lower than the B♭ soprano clarinet; as with all wind instruments, the upper limit of the range depends on the quality of the instrument and skill of the clarinetist. According to Aber and Lerstad, who give fingerings up to written C7, the highest note encountered in modern solo literature is the E below that; this gives the bass clarinet a usable range of up to four octaves, quite close to the range of the bassoon.
The bass clarinet has been used in scoring for orchestra and concert band since the mid-19th century, becoming more common during the middle and latter part of the 20th century. A bass clarinet is not always called for in orchestra music, but is always called for in concert band music. In recent years, the bass clarinet has seen a growing repertoire of solo literature including compositions for the instrument alone, or accompanied by piano, orchestra, or other ensemble, it is used in clarinet choirs, marching bands, in film scoring, has played a minor, but persistent, role in jazz. The bass clarinet has an appealing, earthy tone quite distinct from other instruments in its range, drawing on and enhancing the qualities of the lower range of the soprano and alto instrument; the earliest solo passages for bass clarinet—indeed, among the earliest parts for the instrument—occur in Mercadante's 1834 opera Emma d'Antiochia, in which a lengthy solo introduces Emma's scene in Act 2. Two years Giacomo Meyerbeer wrote an important solo for bass clarinet in Act 4 of his opera Les Huguenots.
French composer Hector Berlioz was one of the first of the Romantics to use the bass clarinet in his large-scale works such as the Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale, Op. 15, the Te Deum, Op. 22, the opera Les Troyens, Op. 29. French composers to use the instrument included Maurice Ravel, who wrote virtuosic parts for the bass clarinet in his ballet Daphnis et Chloé, La valse, his orchestration of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition; the operas of Richard Wagner make extensive use of the bass clarinet, beginning with Tannhäuser. He incorporated the instrument into the wind section as both a solo and supporting instrument. Wagner pioneered in exploiting the instrument's dark, somber tone to
Blues rock is a fusion genre combining elements of blues and rock. It is an electric ensemble-style music with instrumentation similar to electric blues and rock: electric guitar, electric bass, drums with Hammond organ. From its beginnings in the early- to mid-1960s, blues rock has gone through several stylistic shifts and along the way it inspired and influenced hard rock, Southern rock, early heavy metal. Blues rock continues to be an influence in the 2010s, with performances and recordings by popular artists. Blues rock started with rock musicians in the United Kingdom and the United States performing American blues songs, they recreated electric Chicago-style blues songs, such as those by Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf, Albert King, at faster tempos and with a more aggressive sound common to rock. In the UK, the style was popularized by groups such as the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Animals, who managed to place blues songs into the pop charts. In the US, Lonnie Mack, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat were among the earliest exponents and "attempted to play long, involved improvisations which were commonplace on jazz records".
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac developed this more instrumental, but traditional-based style in the UK, while late 1960s and early 1970s groups, including Ten Years After, Savoy Brown, the Climax Blues Band and Foghat became more hard rock oriented. In the US, Johnny Winter, the Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top represented a hard rock trend. Although around this time, the differences between blues rock and hard rock lessened, there was a return to more blues-influenced styles. In the 1980s, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan, recorded their best-known works and the 1990s saw guitarists Gary Moore, Jeff Healey, Kenny Wayne Shepherd become popular concert attractions. Groups such as the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the White Stripes, brought an edgier, more diverse style into the 2000s, as do contemporary artists such as the Black Keys. Blues rock can be characterized by bluesy improvisation, the twelve-bar blues, extended boogie jams focused on the electric guitar player, a heavier, riff-oriented sound and feel to the songs than might be found in traditional Chicago-style blues.
Blues rock bands "borrow the idea of an instrumental combo and loud amplification from rock & roll". It is often played at a fast tempo, again distinguishing it from the blues; the core blues rock sound is created by bass guitar and drum kit. Bands included a harmonica called "a harp." The electric guitar is amplified through a tube guitar amplifier or using an overdrive effect. Two guitars are commonplace in blues rock bands: one guitarist focused on rhythm guitar, playing riffs and chords as accompaniment. While 1950s-era blues bands would sometimes still use the upright bass, the blues rock bands of the 1960s used the electric bass, easier to amplify to loud volumes. Keyboard instruments, such as the piano and Hammond organ, are occasionally used; as with the electric guitar, the sound of the Hammond organ is amplified with a tube amplifier, which gives a growling, "overdriven" sound quality to the instrument. Vocals typically play a key role, although the vocals may be equal in importance or subordinate to the lead guitar playing.
As well, a number of blues rock pieces are instrumental-only. Blues rock pieces follow typical blues structures, such as twelve-bar blues, sixteen-bar blues, etc, they use the I-IV-V progression, though there are exceptions, some pieces having a "B" section, while others remain on the I. The Allman Brothers Band's version of "Stormy Monday", which uses chord substitutions based on Bobby "Blue" Bland's 1961 rendition, adds a solo section where "the rhythm shifts effortlessly into an uptempo 6/8-time jazz feel"; the key is major, but can be minor, such as in "Black Magic Woman". One notable difference is the frequent use of a straight eighth-note or rock rhythm instead of triplets found in blues. An example is Cream's "Crossroads". Although it was adapted from Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues", the bass "combines with drums to create and continually emphasize continuity in the regular metric drive". Cream uses some of the lyrics from "Traveling Riverside Blues" to create their own interpretation of the song.
Rock and blues have always been linked, with driving rhythms and electric guitar techniques such as distortion and power chords used by 1950s blues guitarists Memphis bluesmen such as Joe Hill Louis, Willie Johnson and Pat Hare. Characteristics that blues rock adopted from electric blues include its dense texture, basic blues band instrumentation, rough declamatory vocal style, heavy guitar riffs, string-bending blues-scale guitar solos, strong beat, thick riff-laden texture, posturing performances. Precursors to blues rock included the Chicago blues musicians Elmore James, Albert King, Freddie King, who began incorporating rock and roll elements into their blues music during the late 1950s to early 1960s. In 1963, American rockabilly soloist Lonnie Mack had an idiosyncratic, fast-paced electric blues guitar style that came to be identified with blues rock, his instrumentals from that period were recognizable as blues or R&B tunes, but he relied upon fast-picking techniques derived from traditional American country and bluegrass genres.
The best-known of these are the 1963 hit singles "Memphis" and "Wham!". However, blues rock was not named as such, or recognized as a distinct movement w
The marimba is a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with yarn or rubber mallets to produce musical tones. Resonators or pipes suspended underneath the bars amplify their sound; the bars of a chromatic marimba are arranged like the keys of a piano, with the groups of two and three accidentals raised vertically, overlapping the natural bars to aid the performer both visually and physically. This instrument is a type of idiophone, but with a more resonant and lower-pitched tessitura than the xylophone. A person who plays the marimba is called a marimba player. Modern uses of the marimba include solo performances and brass ensembles, marimba concertos, jazz ensembles, marching band and bugle corps, indoor percussion ensembles, orchestral compositions. Contemporary composers have used the unique sound of the marimba more in recent years. Xylophones are used in music of west and central Africa. In Latin America, enslaved Africans recreated them in the 17th centuries; the name marimba stems from Bantu marimba or malimba,'xylophone'.
According to some Western sources, the word'marimba' is formed from ma'many' and rimba'single-bar xylophone,' however the use of the term marimba and/or derivative terms is not present in any West African language. The instrument itself is present, but is called balafon or heri in Mali and/or Guinea, while it is known as gyil among the Akan peoples in and around Ghana; the word marimba and derivative words is used in East and Southern Africa. A survey of the literature on the African marimba and related instruments, like the Xylorimba and ilimba indicate a relationship between the word marimba and the various lamellaphones found all over Central and East Africa. Other sources credit the creation of the marimba and the kalimba to Queen Marimba of the Wakambi people, who live south of Lake Victoria. In the Shona language "imba" means song. Kuimba is to sing. Marimba, is said to be the "mother of song" and the creator of all the instruments, including the marimba. Mama means mother in Kiswahili, so it makes perfect sense that the word mother would be combined with the word "imba", the unconjugated verb for'sing'.
The karimba is said to have been created by Queen Marimba. In much of East & Central Africa the karimba is seen as a hand-held version of the marimba. Diatonic xylophones were introduced to Central America in the 17th century; the first historical record of Mayan musicians using gourd resonator marimbas in Guatemala was made in 1680, by the historian Domingo Juarros. It became more widespread during the 18th and 19th centuries, as Mayan and Ladino ensembles started using it on festivals. In 1821, the marimba was proclaimed the national instrument of Guatemala in its independence proclamation. In 1850, Mexican marimbist Manuel Bolán Cruz, modified the old bow marimba, by the wooden straight one, lengthening the legs so that the musicians could play in a standing mode, expanded the keyboard and replaced the gourd resonators by wooden boxes. In 1892, Mexican musician Corazón de Jesús Borras Moreno expanded marimba to include the chromatic scale by adding another row of sound bars, akin to black keys on the piano.
The name marimba was applied to the orchestra instrument inspired by the Latin American model. In the United States, companies like Deagan and Leedy company adapted the Latin American instruments for use in western music. Metal tubes were used as resonators, fine-tuned by rotating metal discs at the bottom; the marimbas were first used for light dance, such as Vaudeville theater and comedy shows. Clair Omar Musser was a chief proponent of marimba in the United States at the time. French composer Darius Milhaud made the ground-breaking introduction of marimbas into Western classical music in his 1947 Concerto for Marimba and Vibraphone. Four-mallet grip was employed enhancing interest for the instrument. In the late 20th century and contemporary composers found new ways to use marimba: notable examples include Leoš Janáček, Carl Orff, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Hans Werner Henze, Pierre Boulez and Steve Reich. Marimba bars are made of either wood or synthetic material. Rosewood is the most desirable.
Bars made from synthetic materials fall short in sound quality in comparison to wooden bars, but are less expensive and yield added durability and weather resistance, making them suitable for outdoor use. Bubinga and mahogany have been cited as comparable to rosewood in quality for use as marimba bars; the specific rosewood, Dalbergia stevensonii, only grows in Southern Guatemala and Belize the British Honduras. This wood has a Janka rating of 2200, about three times harder than Silver Maple; the bars are wider and longer at the lowest pitched notes, get narrower and shorter as the notes get higher. During the tuning, wood is taken from the middle underside of the bar to lower the pitch; because of this, the bars are thinner in the lowest pitch register and thicker in the highest pitch register. In Africa, most marimbas are made by local artisans from locally available materials. Marimba bars produce their fullest sound when struck just off center, while striking the bar in the center produces a more articulate tone.
On chromatic marimbas, the accidentals can be played on the extreme front edge of the bar, away from the node if neces