by Leigh Howard Stevens
Acoustics of Keyboard Percussion Instruments
There is an old joke told by orchestral musicians about harpists.
“Harp players spend half of their time tuning their harps and the other half playing out of tune.”
I’ve written this article with the hope that similar jokes about marimbists never develop. That is not such an easy task, because there is a vast amount of misunderstanding and percussive folklore to overcome. Even today, almost ten years after the (re)introduction of tunable resonators to the marketplace, there is still great confusion about what they are for, what actually happens to the bars and resonators in different weather conditions, what tunable resonators can do to compensate for those conditions, and perhaps even more confusingly, what to do if you don’t have tunable resonators…
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