Xylophone – Glockenspiel

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The Xylophone, Glockenspiel and Metallophone


The Glockenspiel and xylophone are percussion instruments comprising tuned bars (keys). Both are played with a pair of hard, unwrapped mallets, generally with heads made of plastic or metal and used to strike the bars of the glockenspiel or xylophone; rubber mallets may also be used where a more "dull" sound is required. Of course, four mallets can be used, two in each hand, to enable the musician to play chords.

The main difference between a xylophone and the glockenspiel/metallophone is the material used for the bars; the xylophone uses wood whereas the glockenspiel and metallophone use metal. Another common difference between a xylophone and the glockenspiel/metallophone is the layout ... the xylophone is usually on one sound board whilst the glockenspiel and metallophone are usually laid out in the style of a piano. Toy manufacturers often refer to the Xylophone when technically they are producing metallophones, as the bars are made from metal.

Xylophones and glockenspiels are very popular in schools and help with pupils' musical development.