Wooden Xylophone

Wooden Xylophone

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The word ‘xylophone’ (from the Greek for ‘wooden voice’) is used to describe a wide variety of instrument designs, all of which employ the same essential principle, in which a row of wooden keys or plates rests on a sound box. The size of each key determines the note it makes when struck. Variations in tone can be achieved by using different types of wood to make the keys and soundbox.

There are soprano, alto, tenor and bass models, and they can be configured in all kinds of tunings. Diatonic versions are ‘preset’ to play major and minor scales, and there are chromatic xylophones offering every note in the chromatic scale. The standard tuning is C major, but many C xylophones also come with additional keys tuned to F# and Bb, so that the keys of F-major/D-minor and G-major/E-minor can also be used. Children usually start by using one stick to play the xylophone, but two or even four can be used.