The xylophone is a musical instrument in the percussion family that consists of wooden bars struck by mallets. Like the glockenspiel, the xylophone essentially consists of a set of tuned wooden keys arranged in the fashion of the keyboard of a piano. Each bar is an idiophone tuned to a pitch of a musical scale, whether pentatonic or heptatonic in the case of many African and Asian instruments, diatonic in many western children’s instruments, or chromatic for orchestral use. The term xylophone may be used generally, to include all such instruments such as the marimba, balafon and even the semantron.
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