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Diamond Marimba

Aart Strootman wants to build the diamond marimba instrument and investigate this self-built instrument with students of the various departments within the Royal Conservatoire, hoping that the instrument gives the students an understanding of the theoretical foundation and that the process sparks collaboration.

During his life Harry Partch wrote numerous pieces for a growing orchestra of custom build instruments. All instruments were designed to fit a (just intonation) tuning system inspired by the sensation of tone by Hermann von Helmholtz. Many of the instruments were based on the 11-limit tonality diamond. This basis is omnipresent in his music theory but often obscured in the instrumental layout. The diamond marimba is however a big exception. The music theory is physically present in the shape of the instrument.

Aart Strootman wants to build this instrument and investigate it with students coming from different departments within the Royal Conservatoire. His primary intention in the context of this research is not to rebuild instruments designed by Partch to perform his music per se. He hopes the instrument can give various students an understanding of the theoretical foundation and spark collaboration.

The diamond marimba (Harry Partch)
Sketch of the diamond marimba (Harry Partch)
Process of a self-built diamond marimba
Schematic overview
Cutting maple blocks
Length, arch and thickness
Length, arch and thickness
Making the supporting plate
Making the supporting plate
Rack on wheels
Table for Length and thickness related to the note
Sketch on how to put them together
Testing the wooden block
Try-out with student Porter Ellerman
Just interference

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