Donated by Michael Udow, 2008-08-014

The Timbrack is a unique instrument designed and built in 1977 by Michael Udow in collaboration with the Premier DrumA hollow cylindrical shell of any size that has a head stretched over one or both ends and is b... Company’s chief of research and development, Peter Spenlove. The instrument, constructed on a basic Premier marimbaAn instrument that consists of a large frame and a set of tuned wooden bars which are struck wi... frame, is a keyboard-configured, multiple-percussion instrument with thirteen different timbres. This arrangement of the idiophones allows for the use of a standard Western, chromatic notational system. However, the corresponding sounds are not chromatic pitches. Instead, the notationReferring to the music notes written on sheet music. represents specific idiophones that produce different timbres. The rackA metal assembly that surrounds the drum set and holds the top parts of cymbal stands as well a... is also organized so that timbres are duplicated at the octave on the “accidental” locations.

Built specifically for Udow’s third realization of Herbert Brün’s “Stalk and Trees and Drops and Clouds,” the 48 individual idiophones, all of which include proper mounting for maximum resonance and correctly tuned resonator pipes, can be categorized into wooden and metal elements.

Wooden Elements: 2 marimba bars (pitched), 2 nabimba bars (pitched), 2 xylophoneA keyboard instrument consisting of metal or wooden bars that are tuned and played with mallets... bars (pitched), 2 clavesA pair of cylindrical wooden sticks that are clicked together, and often used to keep time in L..., 2 woodblocks, 2 temple blocksA set of wood blocks that vary in size and pitch, are generally mounted on a stand and played w..., 2 wood cylinders (semi-pitched).

Metallic Elements: 8 vibraphone bars (pitched), 4 glockenspielAn instrument that contains tuned metal bars mounted on a rectangular frame. The bars usually c... bars (pitched), 8 angklung tubes (pitched), 6 tubaphone cylinders (pitched), 4 cowbells (semi-pitched), 4 clock gongs.

The instrument measures 69 inches in length and 39 inches in width, and has a height of 36 1/2 inches at its tallest point. Though specifically designed for Brün’s piece, other compositions for the Timbrack include “Miniatures for Timbrack” (1977) by the Dutch composer Jan Dhont, and “Tacit,” “Oh My Ears and Whiskers,” “Figures,” and “Nightcrawler,” all composed by Udow for his percussion and dance duo, Equilibrium.