Name of Instrument:
How to Play:
Xylophones are played by striking the wooden bars with a beater or mallet. The bars are tuned and may vary in number from 3 upwards. Modern-day xylophones are supported by frames and have metal resonator tubes. In Indonesia, the gambang is a type of xylophone that ranges from 3 1/2 to 4 octaves. It is said to have existed as early as 8th century. Another form of xylophone is the African amadinda also known as marimba in Latin America.
First Known Xylophones:
Xylophones are believed to have existed in the 1500's, in Europe it was first mentioned in 1511. It was called wooden percussion (hölzernes Gelächter) and was primarily used in folk music. In the 1830's, it became a popular solo instrument and was used by the composer Michal Jozef Guzikov. Today xylophones are usually made up of two rows and supported by a frame. There are also metal xylophones called metallophones such as the vibraphone.
Musicians Who Used Xylophones:
Dmitry Shostakovich used xylophones in his The Golden Age as well as Pierre Boulez who used it in his The Hammer Without a Master.