This postcard from 1906 illustrates the method of early lithophone performances in Luray Caverns, Virginia, United States
lithophone is a musical instrument consisting of a rock or pieces of rock which are struck to produce musical notes. Notes may be sounded in combination (producing harmony) or in succession (melody). The lithophone is an idiophone similar to the bars on instruments such as the glockenspiel, metallophone, xylophone and marimba.
Hornbostel-Sachs classification system, lithophones are designated as '111.22' – directly-struck percussion plaques.
Notable examples [ edit ]
A more sophisticated lithophone trims and mounts individual stones to achieve a full-scale
Probable prehistoric lithophone stones have been found at
Sankarjang in Odisha, India. [1 ]
Vietnamese lithophones dating back to ancient times, called , have been discovered and revived in the 20th century. đàn đá The ritual music of Korea features the use of stone chimes called
, derived from the Chinese pyeongyeong . bianqing The
Musical Stones of Skiddaw from Cumbria, England, have been made into an instrument found in Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. A lithophone called the
Musical Stones has been created at Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin in Cumbria, England, and may be played there by visitors. [2 ] The
Silex Piano, circa 1885, employed suspended flints of various sizes which were struck with other flints to produce sounds. Composer-vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid uses an instrument called the
gramorimba, which is featured alongside the vibraphone and marimba in a trio setting. Icelandic
post-rock band Sigur Rós constructed a slate marimba from rocks found in Iceland, this is demonstrated in their DVD Heima. [3 ] The
stone marimba. The
hōkyō, a lithophone invented in Japan, has been made from the bars of sanukite. [4 ]
The German composer
Carl Orff calls for a lithophone called Steinspiel in his later works. Some lithophones include electric pickups to amplify the sounds.
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
The British composer Will Menter
 invented the llechiphone, a marimba with keys made of slate, while working in North Wales.  UK Musician, Tony Dale developed a resonated slate lithophone in 1984 featured by composer
John Hardy. Other slate lithophones, called stonaphones, are made in the U.S. state of
Maine by Jim Doble out of recycled slate roofing.  An installation in
Quark Park by Perry Cook and Jonathan Shor, consisting of 17 bars stretched over a 35-foot (11 m) long path.
Audio and video of Stalacpipe Organ on Sound Tourism site
lithophones.com Photographs, audio clips, and videos of lithophones from around the world, historical and contemporary.