Flopping Over Bands

This instrument has eight spring steel bands that droop over the sides, plus four more that stand upright. The bands can be struck with a mallet or plucked near the base with a fingernail. Long, floppy bands such as these don’t produce an audible fundamental tone; one hears instead a confusion of many overtones. In this instrument the range of lengths is chosen for the fact that within this range there is one sizzling tone that stands out among the confusion of overtones. This prominent tone gives the bands recognizable pitch. With bands of varying lengths the instrument produces diatonic scale, though somewhat obscured by the complexity of the overtone blend.

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