Elemental Design

Stone Marimbas (Lithophones):

stone marimba

See/Hear one played on Youtube

Stone's inherently low vibration gives it an unusual timbre not found in other marimbas. The lowest notes are gutsy and rich in overtones, the higher notes are sharp and clear, while all are surprisingly resonant.
I use recycled ~1/4" roofing slate for the keys, and oak or for the bases. Stonaphones are available in several pitch ranges- please call for specifics and availability. Some of these lithophones can be made to either lay flat or hang vertically to save space.

Pentatonic (8 keys, 31" long).....$185

Diatonic (10 keys, 38" long).....$205

2 Octave Chromatic Big!, Set up like marimba, 2 bases, 2 full octaves (~55" long)....$565

Other sizes and tunings are available.

2 Octave Chromatic Stonaphone

3 Octave Chromatic Stonaphone

The three octave version is a little more than 7 feet long. This one has the lower octave separate from the upper two for easier storing and moving around. The low end is particularly thin and needs to be played softly. Also the tone on the lower end doesn't ring as clear as the middle of the instrument due to overtones. One like this costs $845.

stone marimba

The keys are fewer than the full sized version.
But the sound is just as sweet and rich.

Pentatonic (6 keys, 21" long).....$155
Other sizes and tunings available.

Mama Stonaphone

Hear Mama Stonaphone mp3

The keys are made from "Black Galaxy" granite, recycled from 1 1/8" thick counter top leftovers. The tops are polished with bright copper specks scattered brightly throughout. The sound is very surprisingly resonant, bright and clear.

The Lithophone pictured is pentatonically tuned for outside use with attached mallets (made for a playground) and played on the ends of the keys. Indoor options and loose, round headed mallets are also available. Can be custom made in a wide variety of tunings and mountings.
Pictured is one of the more expensive mountings which goes for $1,400.
Approximately 36" wide by 30" long with 8 keys.


Other Stone: I've also been experimenting successfully with soap-stone marimbas and other forms of lithophones. I can adapt any of these Stonaphones into outdoor instruments for your garden or patio.

This Mongo Stonaphone above was made for the National Children's Museum of Jordan.
The tuned Lithophone below was made for the Long Island Children's Museum. See children's museum page for description of either.


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Jim Doble, owner
Elemental Design
PO Box 565
Union, Maine 04862