The Tubular Bells – Orchestral Mallets

The tubular bells in modern opera and orchestras are arranged chromatically as symphonic chimes. They were built for the orchestra as an easy-to-carry instrument for daily use, and their original design strived to be as similar to church bells as possible. However,...

The Glockenspiel – Orchestral Mallets

The name glockenspiel means “bell play” in German. It refers to the sound of small bells. Indeed, the very first instruments to bear this name consisted of a set of exactly that. They were either played by a group of musicians, a style which is called...

The Xylophone – Orchestral Mallets

The term xylophone derives from two ancient Greek words which mean wood and tone. Its name has been in use for decades. A series of wooden bars of different lengths arranged according to pitch and struck with mallets essentially comprise this instrument. Nowadays, the...

The Vibraphone – Orchestral Percussions

The most recent addition to the repertoire of orchestral percussion instruments is the vibraphone (also known as the vibraharp or vibes), with its early origins dating back to the vaudeville era of the 1920s. The onomatopoeic name vibraphone refers to the vibrating...