A xylophone is a musical instrument that consists of a series of bars of varying lengths. These bars are played by striking them with a mallet in order to make a sound. Both bars and mallets are made of varied materials, depending on where the xylophone is made. These instruments are popular worldwide in both orchestras and smaller settings.
A xylophone looks similar to a keyboard in that it is a long rectangle that the player stands in front of. The bars run from long on the left, to short on the right, and the whole things is usually held up on a stand.
Bars are traditionally made of wood, though many xylophones have metal ones as well. Mallets can be made of wood, rubber or metal.
The xylophone originated in Asia and began as a series of wooden bars attached to some gourds. The oldest known xylophone dates as far back as 2000 B.C.
The xylophone was most popular from 1910 to 1940 when it regularly appeared on stage in vaudeville acts. Jazz ensembles also used the instrument, though it was replaced by the vibraphone during the 1940s.
Xylophones can be tuned in a number of different ways, depending on where it is made. Some xylophones have a deeper sound, while other are made to produce the sounds in higher octaves.
Glockenspiel Vs. Xylophone
Glockenspiels and xylophones are both melodic percussion instruments. Originating in different parts of the world, the instruments have similar design, but use...
Interesting Facts About Musical Instruments
Musical instruments are timeless tools that allow varied expression and interpretation of music. From ancient times and even in medieval times in...
History & Facts About Percussion Instruments
Percussion instruments are some of the oldest music-makers in the world, perhaps only second to the human voice itself. This diverse family...
Facts About the Oboe
The oboe is related to the English horn and is descended from the horn shepherds used for thousands of years. The pitch...
Facts on Drums for Kids
Providing a few interesting facts about the history of drums and some of the important players is a useful motivating tool for...
Types of Xylophones
The xylophone is a percussion instrument which originated in Africa and Asia independently. It comes from the idiophone family, which includes xylophones,...