Marimba Close-Up

Marimba

Not much to say about the marimba except it’s Guatemala’s national instrument. But, did you know the chromatic marimba was developed in Guatemala? If not, read on…

The marimba is a musical instrument in the percussion family. It consists of a set of wooden keys or bars with resonators. The bars are struck with mallets to produce musical tones. The keys are arranged as those of a piano, with the accidentals raised vertically and overlapping the natural keys (similar to a piano) to aid the performer both visually and physically. This instrument is a type of xylophone, but with broader and lower tonal range and resonators.

The chromatic marimba was developed in Guatemala[1] from the diatonic marimba, an instrument whose ancestor was a type of balafon that African slaves built in Central America… continue reading at Wikipedia.

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  • Cristina

    Now I´m gonna be obnoxious here, and remind you that the chromatic marimba was invented by Sebastián Hurtado from, you guessed it, Xela!  The Hurtado Hermanos come from a long line of marimba musicians, as do the Bethancourts.