Update: (February 2010) Loudspeakers in a Marble Box
Update: (December 2009) „Quarry Bells“
Update: (May 2009) Organ-pipes of stone by Iván Larrea (in Spanish).
Update: (April 2009) Vroemen produces loudspeakers in stone.
Update: (March 2009) A piano in Thin Stone Technology, called the „Hard Rock Piano“, is produced by the Vienna based company Brodmann.
(January 2009) The Dutch company Holland Graniet presented a prototype of a natural stone violin at the Stone+tec fair in 2007: its weight necessitated the use of a stand to support it while playing. But the history of stone in music did not start in the 21st century, although the British Pop Group played an important role.
The Talempong Batu discovered in Sumatra must be ancient. Researchers found out that it dates back to the age of the megaliths some 1000 years B.C.
Lithophones have been in use for ages in Asian cultures; in Vietnam they are called Dan Da. They are comparable to the metallic xylophone or the wooden marimbaphone but their bars are made of stone (1, 2, 3). A lithophone made of hornfels rock (1, 2) originates from Cumbria in England.
Sometimes stone merely gives music the right shape. This is the case in the loudspeakers of the Austrian company Gersthofer, which are installed in boxes of polished marble. The Italian Dansk Marble has similar products. Some say that this construction enhances the acoustic quality, others find it only decorative.
The latest ideas for cemeteries are gravestones with integrated loudspeakers, which can tell of the deceased.
P.S.: We found another interesting aspect to our subject in the book „Stein. Zerfall und Konservierung“ (hrsg. von Siegfried Siegesmund, Michael Auras, Rolf Snethlage, Edition Leipzig, 2005, S. 160-164). It is said there that quarry workers use to make a sound-check of the fresh marble blocks. They beat on them to extract information about cracks within the stone acoustically. The autors say that ancient marble also has a typical sound. It is assumed that stone changes its microstructure with age.
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