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Studio 49

Studio 49 · Drums and Percussion

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Studio 49

The name STUDO 49 stands for quality and sound of the Orff instruments like glockenspiel, metalophone, vibraphone, marimbas, kettle drums and spare parts. The story of STUDIO 49 reaches back way further then the founding year 1949, Carl Orff who is inseparably connected to the history was given a "Kaffir-Piano" by a friend, who had received it by a sailor from Cameroon. This became the model instrument for his own work. Before the Second World War, Carl Orff and his friend Karl Maendler - a harpsichord maker - had built the first xylophone that became indispensable for teaching at the Güntherschule and for the development of Orff´s Schulwerk. After the war Karl Maendler had retired from building instruments. One of Orff´s students, Paul Müller, introduced Orff to Klaus Becker-Ehmck, a young mechanical engineering student who actually felt more drawn toward the non-lucrative art of music. This first meeting with the composer Carl Orff developed into a close personal friendship that became a long lasting partnership. Klaus Becker-Ehmck built, for example, a lithopone entirely from the ideas and wishes of Carl Orff, and also a chromatic xylophone shaped like a cradle for the premier of Orff´s first Greek drama, "Antigone".

These instruments were made in the house of Klaus Becker-Ehmck´s parents. The fast increase in orders led to the first STUDIO 49 factory building being built, it included a carpenter´s workshop, metal processing facilities, a paint-spray line as well as assembly facilities, offices and warehouses. Because of the experience making xylophones and other barred instruments, it was possible for to establish a department for the manufacture of professional orchestral instruments such as vibraphones, marimbas, concert xylophones and tubular chimes. The continuing development of instruments, the growing variety of instruments plus a steadily climbing export business led to the building in of a new STUDIO 49 production plant in 1968 which is still the companies HQ today. A few years after setting up this new working facility the founder Klaus Becker-Ehmck died. His wife, who had contributed substantially during the development, carried on the traditions of the company. This family inheritance - which by this time had grown to include personnel of over 70 people, and world-wide marketing, is continued today by the second generation, the founder´s son, Bernd Becker-Ehmck. The challenge of the crafting skills was, and 50 years later, still is the the basis for the finest quality of instruments, despite all technical advances that have been made.