There are lots of tuned percussion instruments. Among the most common are the xylophone, marimba, the glockenspiel, the cowbells and the temple blocks.
What is a xylophone made of?
The xylophone is made up of different sizes of wooden bars arranged in the same order as a piano keyboard. The player hits the bars with sticks or beaters. Skilled percussion players can hold as many as six sticks in their hands at once, thereby covering a huge amount of notes.
The xylophone sounds like this extract from Saint Saens, Carnival of the Animals:
What is a marimba and how is it played?
The marimba is like a xylophone, although much more delicate and with a softer sound. Marimbas are normally made from rose wood. They are usually played with sticks with very soft heads. Marimba players often use 4 sticks at once, two in each hand.
What does the marimba sound like?
David Hockings demonstrates...
The glockenspiel is made up of a series of tuned metal bars, usually made of steel. The bars are hit with mallets which have ends made of wood, nylon, plastic or rubber.
The glockenspiel sounds like this:
What are the temple blocks?
Temple blocks are wooden slit drums usually made of camphor wood, and originally from China. They are struck with a beater and make a fantastically hollow sound.