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Diamond Marimba as a Creative Tool

Since a couple of years I teach music theory lessons for the sonologists at the Conservatoire in The Hague. Amongst others I'm explaining overtones and their use in Just Intonation in these lessons. A topic that is, albeit from a different perspective, also part of the second year curriculum for the composition department. When the ratios, lattices, otonalities/ utonalities, harmonics/subharmonics, calculations in cents and hertz go into depth and become more complex, the connection with the sounding result can get lost easily. As part of the lectorate in 2022/2023 I wanted to investigate in how far the diamond marimba can be a valuable asset in addressing the potential of Just Intonation via a physical manifestation. Due to its construction the instrument reflects limits and lattices and much that needs to be known for an understanding of ratios - can this instrument be(come) a tool to be able to train the sonic imagination in Just Intonation and microtonality? In this exposition the preparations, building, try-outs, implementation in the classes and reflection can be found.

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