In Sept 1973, after having just finished my four-year hitch in the NAVY, I had enrolled into Pasadena City College (PCC) and took a Music Appreciation class. Many composers and their musical works were presented to the class to show compositional similarities and differences. One composer stood out in a very meaningful way...Harry Partch.
Harry did not follow the conventions of our Western “Chromatic (12-tone) Scale.” Instead, he designed and built instruments around a 43-tones-per-octave, equal-tempered, scale.
The teacher had recommended we purchase one of his albums which musically demonstrates how the 43-tone system sounds.
The composition of interest is Daphne of the Dunes (from The World of Harry Partch, Columbia Masterworks: No. 7202 - Vinyl).
About 1:30 into the piece Harry’s bass marimba presents itself into ensemble. That was my immediate inspiration to find a way to build one of those marimbas.
Photo of the Harry Partch Bass Marimba (back side of album)
Although the photo was somewhat helpful, I had to create an understanding and a visual depiction in how my marimba might look. Having dabbled in technical illustrating, I created some drawings shown below.
Also, not having a clue of what pitches might have been used from the Partch 43-tone scale, I decided to just use eight notes of the C-Major scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C).
The photo below is the result of my construction.