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Difference Between Glockenspiel and Xylophone

Glockenspiel vs Xylophone

Xylophone and glockenspiel are almost synonymous to an untrained person. Both look the same and they both come from the percussion family. However the similarity almost ends there, as these two instruments are vastly different from each other,

Glockenspiel

Glockenspiel originated in Germany during the 17th century. It is composed of metal bars that are arranged based on their different tunes. It sits horizontally and the bars are aligned like that of a piano keyboard. The Glockenspiel case serves as a resonator itself, so no additional sound amplifiers is needed for sound enhancement. The sound range of a Glockenspiel is usually from two and a half to three octaves.

Xylophones

Xylophones are composed of wooden bars with varied lengths placed side by side usually according to their sizes. A lot of debate has been done with regard to its roots, it has been said that it originated either in Asia or in Africa. The octaves that xylophones have generally range between three to four octaves and often sounds a pitch higher than the original note.

Difference between Glockenspiel and Xylophone

Their main difference lies on their bar composition. While Glockenspiel utilizes metal bars, its whole concept is also invariably altered to that of a xylophone. The sound is different since it reflects two octaves lower than the original note. Its bell like sound is also very much different from the short and sharp sound that xylophones have. Due to their difference in sounds, this also prompts them to be used for different musical performance. The mallets used to play them are also different. Glockenspiels have hard mallets usually made from plastic or metal materials while xylophones have mallets that are made from plastic or rubber.

They both made good music, basically carrying the melody and tune of a musical ensemble. The difference in material only highlights their capacity to create good music rather than act as a basis of comparison.

In brief:

• Glockenspiel originated in Germany during the 17th century. It is composed of metal bars that are arranged based on their different tunes. The sound range of a Glockenspiel is usually from two and a half to three octaves.

• Xylophones are composed of wooden bars with varied lengths placed side by side usually according to their sizes. The octaves that xylophones have generally range between three to four octaves and often sounds a pitch higher than the original note.


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