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Thread: Hear Rare Idiophones

  1. #1
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    Default Hear Rare Idiophones

    Hello dear friends!

    I propose to link pictures, descriptions... and hearing samples of unusual idiophones in this thread.

    Other threads exist already for double reeds, single reeds, brass, strings, and more can come for whatever is desired.

    ==========

    The lithophone has resonating bars of stone, while the marimba uses wood and the vibraphone metal. It has tubes to amplify the sound, or a box, or nothing. Examples abound in the Net, with varied designs and results. This single one has a light-year advance
    notice the distinct stone sound, the long sustain, the uniform sound across the wide range. It results from tenacious and enlightened research
    explanations, more instruments, and sounds
    gi3vcun-Y0E (the language is Schwyzerdütsch if you wonder)

    Other manufacturer, nice sound too:

    ==========

    The txalaparta has bars of wood, stone or metal struck with makilak (thick vertical sticks) often by two musicians, and it's typically Basque, good opportunity to hear the language too.
    the Maika and Sara Gomez twins are celebrities in Spain
    PLSng6Cyv-o at t=9 (also stone and metal)
    505x6YgAgyc

    ==========

    The balafon has wooden resonators amplified by calabashes or sometimes a box. Record here:
    A different sound from an other country:
    The scale can be pentatonic, diatonic… I heard in the Paris metro a fantastic musician whose scale wasn't a subset of the equal-tempered one. And here's even a chromatic design:

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    The célesta has a keyboard and hammers like a piano to strike high-pitched metal bars placed over tuned air resonators. Many symphony orchestras have one, but it's not very common.

    A nice web address to hear a célesta
    at the website of one manufacturer – there aren't so many. Also pictures and explanations there.

    One other manufacturer
    and Wiki alleges Yamaha produces some too.

    A third-dozen more companies have existed, including the inventor's one, Mustel. Some instruments subsist, from Jenco among others; the design differs much among the manufacturers.

    Other nice address:

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    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    The dulcitone is older than the celesta, with the last ones built a century ago
    it has metal forks rather than steel plates, and the forks vibrate a soundboard over an elastic metal sheet, while the celesta has a resonating air tube for each note (originally for note pairs).

    The second resonator takes its time to reach full amplitude on the celesta, giving the soft attack typical of the celesta, marimba and vibraphone, while the attack is direct on the dulcitone, the biggest audible difference.

    The dulcitone lacks badly sound strength, probably what let abandon it, but I don't see any reason except bad design to be less loud than a piano.

    Hear it there:
    and few more.

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    ...waiting for someone to ask about the Idiotphone Have you heard the ice-drummers on the frozen lakes in Siberia? You Tube has some recordings of them.

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    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    The glass armonica or harmonica
    is rare enough that most videos are descriptions. Music here:

    The arrangement of glasses was to favour virtuosity, but this is nearly lost.

    ==========

    The glass harp
    should logically be more difficult, but it has impressive players.

    While many musicians seem to select standard wine glasses, a manufacturer produces and tunes glasses
    In Brittany, it rains only on idiots.
    You just write French exactly like you spell it. Very simple!
    In the Navy, one must salute everything that moves and paint the rest.
    I wish so dearly Mozart were still alive! And his music already dead.

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    Senior Member Enthalpy's Avatar
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    Saint-Saëns wanted a glass harmonica for his Carnaval des animaux in the Aquarium and Final. Performers replace the exceedingly rare and faint instrument with a glockenspiel, whose brutal attacks differ strongly from the glass harmonica. Bowed percussions would be too slow from what I heard. I propose to use instead an amplified glass harp to hear finally the music as it was meant.

    Glass harp virtuosos could play the part but they are scarce
    Talkclassical (previous message here)
    I propose to arrange the glasses for the Carnaval, so more musicians can play it, perhaps percussionists or violinists after some days practice.

    [Click for full size]
    SaintSaensCarnavalGlassHarp.png

    21 glasses make this arrangement where the part's fast notes are in columns. Maybe four E for the right hand should accompany the C-B-A-G# at left. All rims at the same height helps. If rubbing tangentially, a row for one finger can be spread at right and left to be more compact. If rubbing across the rim, the glasses in a row could be tilted to expose only one rim side.

    I tried to play one random glass, just round with a stem, rather thick, unleaded. A violin bow makes a sour sound that starts slowly, so wet fingers are the choice. Rubbing across the rim starts the sound quickly but with noises, tangentially is nicer where possible. I didn't achieve the needed quick starts in half an hour but this was improving quickly. Reliability improved slower. The loudness compares with a recorder, so amplify.

    Many glass harpists use wine glasses tuned with water. The selection must take some time. Or buy glasses optimised and tuned from
    however, 21 glasses cost some 1500€ on their 2021 price list. Maybe several groups can share the special glass harp, or a company can own and rent it

    Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy
    In Brittany, it rains only on idiots.
    You just write French exactly like you spell it. Very simple!
    In the Navy, one must salute everything that moves and paint the rest.
    I wish so dearly Mozart were still alive! And his music already dead.

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