Yamaha today introduced the MKAW Series of Keiko Abe signature marimba mallets at the 2015 NAMM Show.

The MKAW Series, designed with input from Abe, a Yamaha Marimba Artist renowned around the world, features Birch shafts. The MKA Series of Keiko Abe signature marimba mallets, which will still be available, is constructed with Rattan shafts. The yarn wound heads of both series consist of the same material.

Yamaha draws on its extensive experience of selecting fine wood for musical instruments to create the new MKAW Series of marimba mallets. Birch handles are lighter in weight than Rattan and many players prefer the material for its combination of firmness and durability.

The Keiko Abe Signature Series features nine different degrees of soft to hard mallets that make it easy for artists to select a voiced set of four for any musical situation. The hard mallets are heavy and create a full sound from the upper range of the marimba, while the bass mallets pull the fundamental resonance out of the instrument’s lower range. These yarn wound mallets are ideal for solo work, along with concertos, and are available in a variety of lengths. Each mallet consists of a unique firmness and texture and comes with colour-coded tape for easy identification during playing situations.

[blockquote author=”Troy Wollwage, marketing manager, Percussion Instruments, Yamaha Corporation of America” pull=”normal”]Mallets are an extension of the player’s hand and head and need to feel good during performance, many marimba players contend that rigid Birch handles add to their accuracy when playing.”[/blockquote]

About Keiko Abe

Appearing regularly in performances around the world, Keiko Abe continuously astonishes audiences with her rare combination of creative power, acute sensitivity and virtuoso technique. It is these qualities that have made her a leading force in the development of the marimba as a consummate concert instrument. Her command of an overwhelming repertoire allows her performances to range from solo concerts to chamber music and improvisations. While her compositions have become standards of marimba literature many composers have dedicated new works to her and she has inspired and premiered countless new compositions. In addition to her work as Professor Emeritus of Music at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan, she is in demand as a guest lecturer and has presented master classes in more than 100 of the leading music conservatories in North America, Europe and Asia. She has also released over 50 recordings and received numerous awards, including becoming the first woman elected to the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 1993. (Source: Yamaha)

An excerpt performed by Du-Ality Percussion Duo featuring Keiko Abe – Marimba Spiritual

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Written By Editor

A contributing editor at TBP.