Xylophones produce sound when their metal or composite material bars are struck using a mallet. The pitch produced depends on the bar's length: short bars tend to have a higher pitch while long bars have a deeper pitch.Continue Reading
The sound is amplified through resonator tubes underneath the bars. Air is pushed into the tubes resulting in more vibration, but at a similar pitch produced by the bar struck. A cord is placed across the middle of the xylophone to lift the bars from the frame, allowing them to vibrate freely. The bars are usually arranged on a frame like a piano keyboard and are tuned to the same 12-note chromatic scale.
Xylophones are categorized as percussion instruments, which are musical instruments that have to be shaken or struck to produce sounds. Within the larger percussion category of musical instruments, xylophones are further classified as idiophones. This uniquely distinguishes them from membranophones, which are musical instruments that have a membrane, such as a drum.
The xylophone is believed to have originated in Oceania or Southeast Asia. It produces a unique brittle metallic sound. The quality of sound produced by a xylophone typically depends on the skill level of the player. The mallet is also crucial to the sound produced; mallet grip is an important technique for playing the xylophone.Learn more about Musical Instruments
There's no specific person who has been identified as the inventor of the xylophone. Xylophones can be traced back to being invented in both Asia and Africa. A little evidence suggests that the instrument originated in Indonesia; however, most experts disregard the evidence.Full Answer >
According to About.com, maracas make sound through the rattling of the small objects they contain inside, typically stones, beads or beans. Maracas are classified under the instrumental category of solid or sealed objects known as idiophones.Full Answer >
Conch shells can be used as horns but the person must make a buzzing sound with their lips in order to have it work. Just blowing into the conch shell won't work. The buzzing sound made from a person's lips gets amplified by the conch shell, much like a bugle horn.Full Answer >
The modern concert harp produces a rich, ringing sound when the harpist plucks the strings or brushes her hand over them. As is heard in the beginning of the second movement of Caesar Franck's Symphony in D minor, the harp's sound is less dry than that of plucked pizzicato strings.Full Answer >