Juan Bermúdez, Echoes of the Past: The Marimba Sencilla in Chiapas. An Exploratory Study of a Diatonic Marimba Tradition (Investigaciones: Forschungen zu Lateinamerika 30), Wien: Praesens 2021.
The marimba is the (‘traditional’) instrument par excellence in the Mexican state of Chiapas. There are two different kinds of marimba in Chiapas: on the one hand, the marimba doble (chromatic), which is widely visible and, no doubt, the cultural symbol of the state; and, on the other hand, the marimba sencilla (diatonic), whose status and visibility are almost non-existent. Also within ethnomusicology research, the marimba sencilla has been utterly ignored. This research focuses on such diatonic marimba tradition. Based on the information gathered during several research stays in the area, it attempts to offer a general scope of the dissemination, as well as of the various sociocultural interrelations of this musical tradition in the state of Chiapas.