Name: Marimbula

Type: Lamellaphone > Percussion.

Region: Many > Cuba > Central America > Caribbean.

The marimbula is a percussion instrument classified as lamellaphone. Since the introduction of the Marimbula, the slaves gathered what material was available from packing crates to saw blades.
In Cuba the marimbula is played by musicians in both Changui and Son Ensembles. The names of the same instrument are many, they include bass box, church and slap, jazz slim when in use by mento performers in night clubs.

During the 1930's the marimbula found its way into Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica.
Upon its arrival to North America and the Caribbean the marimbula came from Africa. In a mento band it the marimbula is accompanied with percussion > guitar > vocals..

Related Instruments: In West Africa one can find closely related lamellaphones throughout West Africa from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Ghana to Nigeria. One of differences between the African lamellaphones and the marimbula are the roles in which the instruments play in their music. The Africanlamellaphones such as the m'bira are designed to play complex polyphonic rhythms. Whereas the marimbula plays the role of bass instrument mainly for accompaniment.

Construction: The construction of the marimbula is based upon a box and adjustable lamellaphones. Only a few lamellaphones are assembled on this instrument. They are held together often by a strip of metal affixed onto a box. A sound hole on the box is carved onto the front surface. The lamellaphones can be made from flexible pieces of metal such as hack-saw blades.




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