Usefull info for the composer:
If you are a composer and you are going to write for the Aluphone you can find some advice here. The Aluphone comes in different sizes and the most used is the Glennie Concert without a dampening pedal. It is a 2 1/2 octave instrument with the range from G4 – C7. You can think of it as almost the range of a vibraphone, but one octave higher. The sound can change a lot, depending on the types of mallets you are using. Soft mallets gives you the sound of Tebetian Singing Bowls, medium hard mallets give you more of a vibtaphone/bell sound and hard mallets make the Aluphone sound almost like church bells.
Glennie Bass is a smaller version from C4-G4. It can work as a bass extension.
Stensgaard Concert is another version of Aluphone. This one is a little like the vibraphone, because it has a pedal for dampening the notes. The dampening of each bell can be individually adjusted. The design is modern and streamline and is constructed entirely from aluminium giving it an elegant and exclusive finish. The instrument is suited to a wide variety of music genres such as classical, jazz, rock, folk, and avant-garde.
The Aluphone is easy to bow, it has a very fast attack and the sound is like a glass spiel. The sound is one octave above the fundemental.
You can play the instrument with almost any kind of mallet like rubber, wood, plastic and metal. Tuning A = 442
The tuning of the Aluphone:
The unique sound of the Aluphone occurs because of special overtones that differ from the overtones you know from a piano. On a piano, the tone is basically formed by a mixture of the fundamental and the overtone, which is an octave plus a major third over. This sound is what our ears perceive as normal, and a sound you would think is in tune.
An Aluphone has a very particular overtone, which is located between a minor third and a major third one octave above the fundamental. The overtone is also very powerful and it affects the experience of the keynote. This provides the unique sound, but it sometimes deceives you into thinking, that the instrument is not in tune. That’s because the ear occasionally perceives the tone as more than the keynote, and you experience the tone to be a little false, even though it is not. The overtone of the instrument is not tuned, and that is what gives it the distinctive sound of a bell. Church bells also have the same problems with overtones. For some harmonies it is perceived more clearly than in others especially in the low register. In the high register you never hear the problem, because the overtones are way up. If, for example, you play an A minor chord and place the minor third an octave up, then you will hear that the false overtone from the fundamental enters and mixes with the the minor third. The disharmony you will hear, is the clash between the minor third and major third. You can experience the same problem when placing the major third in an elevated position relative to the root. As a music arranger you should avoid this spread location of an accord. Aluphone has chosen not to fine tune the overtones of the bells, as it will affect the instruments’ characteristic sound.
In the videos below you will find more usefull info!!