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Click here to listen to a sample of the Diamond Marimba


Diamond Marimba

The Diamond Marimba consists of six parts: a lower base, four poles, and an upper platform. The Honduras rosewood bars are mounted on a terraced platform that consists of fourteen rows of bars. Beginning with the second row, each succeeding row rises a half inch above the previous row, so that the difference in height between the first and the last row equals 13 × 1/2 in. = 6 1/2 in. Underneath the platform, Cris mounted quarter-wavelength resonators to amplify the frequencies of the bars. The resonators are made from cast acrylic tubes, and the stand poles, from cast acrylic rods.

The marimba's central section consists of a diamond-shaped lattice that includes seven ascending and seven descending diagonal rows of bars. Each row includes seven bars. Rows that ascend from left to right sound major tonalities, and rows that descend from left to right sound minor tonalities. This musical design was inspired by Max F. Meyer (1873-1967), who first described the concept of a two-dimensional tonality diamond in his book The Musician's Arithmetic, published in 1929.

Built:    1978, San Francisco, California
Rebuilt: 1989, San Francisco, California

Total number of bars: 54.
Longest bar length: 16 ¾ in.
Shortest bar length: 7.0 in.
Height to first row: 34.0 in.
Height to last row: 40 ½ in.

Honduras rosewood, birch, teak, acrylic, aluminum, brass, and steel.

Lowest bar: G below middle C.
Highest bar: Third E above high C.

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