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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Orchestral percussion

2. Xylophone

The xylophone is a popular
PFLPre-Fade Listen: a type of solo function on a mixing desk whereby a channel is monitored (usually via monitor outputs only, not the main outputs), bypassing its fader (and usually also pan) setting and muting all other channels.
solo
instrument as well as being used in symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles and film scores. Xylophones are noted for their bright and penetrating sound. Small xylophones usually have a range of as little as 2 1/2 octaves though the standard instrument has a range of 3 1/2 or 4 octaves. The term xylophone can also refer to many different instruments found across the world with pentatonic, heptatonic, diatonic or
Chromatic1) Involving the addition of musical colour by the addition of accidentals. 2) Proceeding by semitones.
chromatic
tuning systems.

The upper (accidental) bars on a xylophone slightly overlap the lower (natural) bars. This allows for playing faster passages since the performer doesn’t need to reach quite as far.

Materials

Traditionally, xylophone bars have been made from wood. Rosewood has been the preferred choice of percussion enthusiasts for its rich tone. Recently, synthetic materials such as Kelon have gained popularity due to their lower cost. Where rosewood is preferred for its bright but resonant and rich tone, synthetics possess brightness and slightly less
SustainA general term with various specific meanings in music/audio production: 1) In general terms, how well an instrument's sound persists once played. 2) The third part of the ADSR envelope used by many synthesisers, Sustain ('S') determines to what volume a note decays after it is triggered, but before the key is released. (Decay 'D' controls how fast this happens) 3) The piano pedal which removes the dampers from the strings, so that notes will continue to sound even after the keys have been released. This is implemented in MIDI as a specific message with 2 possible values: 127 (pedal down) and 1 (pedal up).
sustain
.

The frame of a xylophone is constructed to offer support for the bars and
ResonatorA type of guitar designed before electric guitars in the quest for more volume. In addition to two main soundholes, a number of metal cones are placed underneath the strings in the main body of the guitar to help further amplify the sound. Popular with slide players for its cutting tone, and famously featured on the cover of Dire Straits 'Brothers in Arms' album.
resonators
(resonating tubes). Most frames have an undercarriage to position the instrument at a comfortable playing height and wheels to simplify moving the instrument. Smaller 3-octave xylophones often lack the stand and
ResonatorA type of guitar designed before electric guitars in the quest for more volume. In addition to two main soundholes, a number of metal cones are placed underneath the strings in the main body of the guitar to help further amplify the sound. Popular with slide players for its cutting tone, and famously featured on the cover of Dire Straits 'Brothers in Arms' album.
resonators
of larger instruments. This means the instruments lack
Volume1) In audio and music, the loudness or amplitude of a signal. 2) In computing, a fixed amount of storage space, addressed as a single entity ('C:', 'D:' etc). A physical drive may contain more than one volume, but a single volume may also span more than one drive!
volume
, but also makes them great for students, or for musicians who must put many instruments in a small space such as a theatre pit.

Mallets

A selection of xylophone mallets should include rubber mallets of varying degrees of hardness, plastic mallets, and wooden mallets. The student on a budget should acquire at least one pair of rubber mallets. Marimba and vibraphone mallets are also suitable for xylophone.

Rubber, plastic and wooden mallet
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