Hot Marimba Zimbabwean-Style Music for Orff Instruments By Walt Hampton Book and CD 38 pages Grades 3 - 6
High energy pieces based on or inspired by marimba music of Zimbabwe. Original compositions and text by Hampton, including background information and performance hints. Copy-permissable scores. The included CD has every tune in full-length versions and features Hampton's students.
What is the difference between "marimba" music and "xylophone" music? I had thought that marimbas were more Central/South America and xylophones were African, so confused as to how this marimba collection is representative of African (Zimbabwe) music. Can someone help me figure this out, please, because I am looking for marimba music for a unit on Guatemalan music in the fall. Thanks so much!
Best Answer:Hi Julie, I am a percussionist and also have watched marimba makers make their instruments, and have made one myself, and re-tuned bars. To most people without aural/musical or percussion training, they probably sound the same. What I was taught, and what I observe in playing the marimba xylophones I have played in my life is that in marimbas, the 1st overtone is tuned to the octave above the fundamental note. Xylophones are typically tuned with the 1st overtone on the fourth or fifth of the scale. To hear the 1st overtone of a bar, hold it in the center with "pincher fingers" - essentially cutting the vibrating bar in half. Strike the bar half way between your fingers and the end of the bar. The fundamental is the main pitch you hear when you strike in the center of a bar balancing on the nodal points. I have seen a gyil maker in Ghana make his instruments without worrying about the overtone tuning. So not all wood-barred instruments are either marimbas or xylophones. There are also certain genres of music that are associated with the marimba and/or xylophone as well. For example, when you talk about xylophone rags, you are likely referring to George Hamilton Green's style of playing which was mostly on the xylophone.
Hi Julie, Marimba music in most cases is based on music from Zimbabwe. It is polyrhythmic and often very joyful sounding music. It is related to mbira (thumb piano) music from that region. The mbira songs were transposed onto simple xylophones to teach children traditional songs. If you are looking for traditional Guatemalan music, this would not be the right book for you. I have another book that focuses on Latin American music (with Orff instruments and dances) by Sofia Lopez-Ibor, called: Songs, Games And Dances From Latin America.