So, I’m guessing a lot of the bloggers participating in the A to Z Challenge will be posting about xylophones today. I’m looking forward to visiting a bunch.
Most people, when they hear the word xylophone, probably picture something like this:
and know it sounds something like this:
And a whole segment of society (Orff-Schulwerk trained teachers and their elementary school students) visualizes something like this:
and expects them to sound like this:
(To be accurate, the above ensemble also includes glockenspiels and metallophones.)
The xylophone is a musical instrument consisting of wood bars struck by mallets. It is ancient, at least 1500 years old, and it originated in Africa or possibly southeast Asia; or perhaps developed in multiple locations.
Last month, my brother Bill visited me from New Jersey, and I took him to the incredible Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. While we were there, I took photographs of as many xylophones (and xylophone-type instruments) as I could, knowing I would need them for this article. (Click on any image below to scroll through enlargements.)
One of my favorite pieces of music featuring the xylophone is Fossils, from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals.
If you have not yet had your full of xylophones today, watch the delightful concert below.