Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Last of the Purpleheart Baris

This Baritone goes to a school in Vermont and will probably be my last Bari with purpleheart. Purpleheart is another of those exotic woods I would like to replace with an American grown species. So my next Baritone will most likely be made of Ash, and I predict it will sound just dandy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Christmas List

Note to friends: This is all I need for Christmas:

The Elwood Hybrid - Renovo Hardwood Bikes

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Name That Scale!

When purchasing a Bourne Marimba, many customers will include F# and Bb bars in the order - these extra bars are commonly used in the Orff curriculum. I used to include these extra bars in the price of my instruments, until I began to notice classroom closets full of unused F#s and Bbs! So now I charge a bit more for the option and make it the customer's choice.

One design advantage of my marimbas is their ability to accept a quick swap out of, say an F# bar for the F bar, getting you into the key of G. Or a Bb for the B, getting you into the key of F.

So that thin cording you see snaking over the bars allows them to remain on the instrument no matter how fortissimo they are bonked, whilst allowing, with a simple twist and pull at the end of any bar, removal of said bar. It's worked in thousands of Bourne Marimbas for well over a decade now. Also then, the bars remain on the instrument as it is tilted upright for wheeling and storing.

While many opt for the F# and Bb bars so common in Orff music,  I occasionally get a request for OTHER accidentals as well. How about C#s to get you into the key of D. Or whatever keys or modes are represented in THIS array:

name that key

One advantage to being a one-person operation: I can create whatever scale you are dreaming of!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Many Marimbas Can you Fit on a Semi?

Check out the Grantham (Washington) Marimba Ensemble, led by long-time customer-from-way-back -when Loa Vornholdt. I suggest clicking on the captions to experience them in full cinemascopic splendor. Un...be...liev...able!

Grantham by night

Grantham by day

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Source for Cordage

nceHere is one source for what is currently my favorite cord to use on marimbas. A roll of this will last you a long time:

For suspending the bars you can use:
#5 gauge, available through SJM Parts

And for the lighter gauge restraining cord you can try:
#3 gauge, available through SJM Parts
This is great stuff, very tough and kinda cool looking too. This type of cord is vastly more durable than any common cordage you will find in the stores. Considering what it is used for, as pull cord for starting small engines, you know it needs to be pretty hardy.