Mahler Box

Mahler Box

Mahler Box    07:30 on Wednesday, March 25, 2009          

(1 point)
Posted by composer015

I'm a composer and I've written a new composition that calls for the percussionists to play the Mahler Box. You know, the large wooden box (hit with a hammer) at the end of Mahler's Sixth Symphony!

Where can I get one without paying hundreds of dollars in rental fees? Is there a way to construct it or "find" it at a junkyard or something? What about the large hammer?

Any help would be appreciated.I'm kind of lost here. Thanks!!!

Re: Mahler Box    11:18 on Wednesday, March 25, 2009          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

The "Mahler Box" can be made for cheap.

The instructions in the score for the Mahler Box is simply him requesting a short, strong, dull, hammer of NON-metalic sound. I've heard it is supposed to resemble th sound of a head being cut off with an Axe.

You could simply get a box made from good quality wood. Make it about 14 inches on top and bottom and about 24 inches high. Cut a good hole, or several holes for resonation. Then you can also make a gavel out of wood of any size, or perhaps use a rawhide hammer. That should do the trick I think.

(Or you could loosen the tension on one of the tympanies excessively until there is no definite pitch and hit that with a firm tympani mallet.).

Re: Mahler Box    16:52 on Tuesday, May 26, 2009          

(122 points)
Posted by EnigmusJ4

Here's some footage of individual hammer blows from three different performances, if you wanna compare what they look like to how they sound. Each clip is only like 30 seconds. Hope it's of any help.


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