Xylophones are unique and well-built musical instruments found in the percussion family that consists of wooding bars struck by mallets. It involves more than just striking it but consists of keys that must be recognized to produce meaning sounds.
Each bar found in the xylophone 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.
This musical instrument varies among each other, that is why you need to know the best of them out there and identify the one that fits into your musical collections.
The Stagg XYLO-set is one of the unique xylophones for musicians. This product features rosewood 37-keys that have more than enough range to learn scales and arpeggios. Stagg XYLO xylophone has 3 octaves (C5-C8) and A=442 Hz range that produces a nice and warm tone.
The keyboard of this xylophone is supported by a suspension bar system with wooden frames and resonating backboard that helps in enhancing the sound and provides a high-quality sound.
The Padouk bars sound good and the tuning is sufficient for proper training. It has a warmer tone than most of the traditional steel bars. The Rosewood bars produce an amazing tune.
The frame dimensions are 39.8 inches x 20.7 inches. The Stagg XYLO- Set not only sounds great but looks like a professional instrument. It is great for both, advanced players and beginners.
- Simple, no fuss design
- Bars have a warm tone
- The sound from the bar is quiet
- Keys are difficult to remove
This Xylophone is a uniquely designed musical instrument in terms of functionality, design, easy play, and total performance. It is built with top-quality material and well-organized design that gives it the ability to successfully delivers a mesmerizing sound quality.
It comes with an easy to use features that include an effortless play, and an implausible learning experience that makes a favorite choice for learning students. It has a solid structural design and durable construction, making it a good selection for both the teachers and parents.
This student Glockenspiel comes included with 32 notes with a range from F to C and allows the user or players to try a wide variety of notes with respect to their choice. Predominantly, the lower range notes sound extremely nice.
This Glockenspiel features 2-½ octave aluminum bell set. The keys are made of good quality aluminum instead of wood. Mallets are also included along with music rack.
- Comes with carrying case
- Sounds nice
- A bit pricey
The GP Percussion Bell Kit Xylophone is one of the most popular xylophones. This xylophone features 30 note bell kit with each note stamped on the key. This feature gives room for you to learn and recognize the note effortlessly. The octave of this xylophone is 2 ¼ from G to C.
It has an oak wooden frame that is manufactured using top-notch materials. This increases the life span of the xylophone. The wooden frame is durable and robust that can withstand regular wear and tear or other unfavorable conditions.
This Xylophone has an adjustable height ranging from 27 cm to 38 cm while the width is 1 cm. The weight of the xylophone is 19.2 pounds. The GP Glockenspiel xylophone comes with a heavy-duty stand that is capable to hold the xylophone steady. Also, it comes with a practice pad, sticks, and mallets.
- Easy to store
- A great choice for both beginner and experts
- No resonator box
The Lyons Diatonic Alto Xylophone is one of the most used xylophones. It features Rosewood tone bars with diatonic scales. The bars have a one-pin mounting and the pieces and parts are glued together. With this, it increases resonance and the bars are perfectly tuned to produce rich and warm sound.
In addition, it is a good choice for beginners. The bars of this xylophone has every note stamped on them to allow the player easily identify the note. This will aid them in learning the notes fast.
Comes with diatonic keys that include 2 F# and a Bb bar to enable the musicians to play in various keys. The note range of the xylophone is from C3 to A4. Along with this, it includes add-on bars like F#3, F#4 and Bb3. With these, you can play the key signatures of C, F, and G major.
- Comes with a pair of a mallet
- Removable keys
- The hard plastic mallets create a poor sound
The Fleet30 Foldable Glockenspiel Xylophone is another excellent xylophone. It has a wooden body that is great for both indoor and outdoor use. This feature makes the xylophone durable and strong that can last for longer periods.
This xylophone has 30 notes and every bar is marked with a correct note. This allows beginners to easily learn and recognize the notes. You can keep the bars in their correct place easily too. The bars are made with high-quality aluminum bar making it tough and long-lasting.
The length of the bar is 58 cm while the expanded width is 28.5 cm from up and done is 15 cm. The close width of the upper side is 18 cm and the width of the lower side is 8 cm.
There is a bag included, it allows you to store the xylophone – for protection against wear and tear.
- You can even carry around the xylophone easily.
- Sturdily built
- Body susceptible to stain
This is an elegant musical instrument that is designed to give improved quality and better functionality. The Xylophone can be compared to the piano keyboard both in functions and appearance and also gives an astonishing performance. They are made of aluminum bars. These are black and white in color with a finish of baked enamel and presents a striking outlook.
It comes with a bell that features two octaves with A5-A7 range. The bar resonance is increased to a great extent by the neoprene bar mounting. The bars are wide and tuned electronically to deliver a more accurate pitch. It also facilitates easy play.
For those who are looking for enhanced quality, amazing results and increased durability, it is an excellent choice. The ABS endplate on this instrument adds more to its durability. It comes with a duo-tone, and double-ended mallets.
- Addition of double-ended mallet
- Nylon carrying-bag is provided
- No resonator box
This model of the xylophone is made of high-quality solid material that makes it extremely strong. It is no doubt a good choice for those who want a musical instrument that is long-lasting and eco-friendly. You will enjoy practicing on this instrument over a long period of time as it is constructed with a seamless material and exhibits incredible craftsmanship.
The manufacturing material is made of aluminum and wood, making it more stable. It is solely designed to promote your playing experience and includes an adjustable stand, 2.5-octave bells with range G5-C8.
An 8-inch tunable pad is also provided that adds more fun to your practice. Other prominent features include a removable music desk, bell mallets, and drumsticks. All the elements are quick to assemble and save up space as well.
- Easy to assemble
- Keys are often labeled and arranged incorrectly
This is an exquisite instrument, made with attention to detail in order to deliver quality sound. The total size of this Glockenspiel is about 42cm X 25cm and this is a full-size model.
Made of top-notch material, it has a robust construction that makes it durable and one can keep this instrument for a long time. Its structure includes a solid wood frame with top-class metal and the keys are coated with paint. The note name is beautifully engraved into each key and it adds to the beautiful appearance of this instrument.
It is easy to play and delivers a very pleasing sound. This is a very smart selection for the students as they can learn better with this one. Mentors usually select it to teach the students. The keys are made removable. This feature makes it more helpful in teaching.
- The notes are labeled
- Delivers a pleasing sound
- Some users say that screws that fasten the bars into the frame are often lost at arrival
This xylophone is a great product that has a 35 x 18 mm sound bars with fundamental tuning. It is made of resonator boxes that are made of basswood to make it durable. The Sonor Global Beat Alto Xylophone is available with fiberglass bars and maple veneer on the outside and inside.
It comes with a 16-bar diatonic unit, which includes Bb and 2 F# bars. One pair of mallets is included that brings out a beautiful sound out of the xylophone. The scale of the xylophone is C-major with f-sharp 2, b-flat 2 and f-sharp 3. The tonal range is C2 to A3 that is the standard industry range.
With this xylophone, the player can easily identify notes as the notes are stamped in the chamber of each box and in the middle of the fiberglass bar.
- Great for producing pleasant sounds
- Made of durable materials
- Many parts make for a cumbersome setup
The Yamaha YX-230 3-Octave Xylophone is another popular xylophone that is ideal for both professionals and learners. It has a length of 25.4 inches, width of 10.4 inches and a height of 3.1 inches. It also features 30 keys with sharp and flat tones, making it a unique musical instrument.
The notes of this xylophone are marked on the keys making it easy for beginners to identify the notes. This Xylophone also has a perfect system of bars to enhance the resonance.
This xylophone comes with a pair of mallet that improves the chance of hitting the right key. The mallet is produced using the top-quality materials that ensure the sound is beautiful. This xylophone is lightweight as it just weighs 4.2 pounds. This means it can be easily carried around.
- Comes with carrying case
- Usually comes with a stand
- Difficult to break down and fit into the case
What to Consider When Purchasing a Xylophone
It is not always easy to get a xylophone that will best suit your preference or even be presented to someone as a gift. It can be a difficult task trying to purchase the best among the rest, considering the numerous xylophones that are available in the market and even online.
The enormous collection of different models, designs and brands are due to the instrument passing through many decades of being altered for use in countless casual, educational, and professional settings. Having all these in mind already, then you will know that you have to consider a lot of features before making a purchase. This review is meant to guide you in the right direction when selecting the best xylophone for you.
One of the first things you will have to consider before buying a xylophone is the musical setting in which the xylophone will be played. This is due to the fact that grade school children, while bright and inquisitive, maybe a bit overzealous when striking the bars with their mallets. With this development, a more durable instrument design will be ideal for an elementary school teacher looking for a xylophone for his or her classroom. In the case of an orchestra musician, an instrument of superior tonality would be better.
One other common settings that a xylophone always fit in is our own very home. If you are planning to buy a xylophone for your child or wards to play at home, then space would be a considerable setting to this effect. For a family that has a room dedicated to musical instruments, you can go for a full-sized xylophone that comes with stand, but if the reverse is the case, then a smaller and more portable design is what will be of benefit to you.
If you have children, then note that a portable and compact design would also be ideal for easy storage and out of their reach at the end of the day.
One other aspect we must also consider is the tuning of your xylophone. In contrast to a violin or a guitar, the xylophone is not a musical instrument that the player can tune easily tune. Having this already at the back of your mind, it becomes imperative for the buyer to make a decision on the best range and key for his or her new instrument before buying.
There are varieties of tunings for the xylophone and they include a soprano, alto, and bass range. A bass xylophone has a range of notes between Middle C and A1, an alto xylophone has a range between C1 and A2, and a soprano ranged xylophone consists of notes between C2 and A3. There are also a variety of other ranges dependent on the brand of xylophone. It might be important to give consideration to the range of the instrument if you are planning to purchase a second or third xylophone for use in an orchestral or band setting.
The key to your new xylophone is also something to give great consideration. Many xylophones are tuned in a chromatic scale, which is the same tuning as a standard piano. The tuning makes it easy and viable to play practically any musical score due to the fact that the chromatic scale comes with all available pitches. Some xylophones are tuned to a major scale, which lacks several notes of the chromatic scale. While you may not be able to play every song on an instrument permanently tuned to a major scale, it is a much simpler design, and it is easier to play.
Material of Bars
Owning to selecting the tuning of your new xylophone, you should also try as much as possible to contemplate your preference in bar material. The xylophone made of metal bar has a higher-pitch, sharper sound than xylophones with wooden bars. They make a great instrument for solos that carry over other instruments. Wood-barred xylophones have a warmer, rounder tone. In addition to the fact that they can be used for solo as well, the wood-barred xylophone tone blends well with other wood-barred xylophones.
The removable bar is one other important feature to give consideration as it comes with a lot of advantages. For instance, if you have additional bars, it will be easy for you to replace the existing ones with entirely different notes to change the key of the instrument. Additionally, if you are keen on learning how to tune the bars yourself, you will find it easy removing and replacing them without the need for power tools or a xylophone expert. If you are not interested in replacing bars or learning to tune a xylophone, a fixed-bar xylophone would probably be more practical and would eliminate the possibility of accidentally losing a bar.
The type of mallet is a good thing to consider before buying a xylophone because they are a key factor in producing the sound. You should go for xylophones that come with mallets or get another rather than limiting yourself to the ones in the box. Mallets are long sticks with round heads that are used to strike the bars of a percussion instrument, the hard-tipped ones will be best for metal bars soprano xylophones, and solo parts. Then soft-tipped mallets are best for wood bars, alto and bass xylophones, and harmony parts.
This is an important feature to consider before buying a xylophone. You can find many A frame is an important factor to consider when buying a xylophone. There are numerous frame designs that have an impact on every aspect of playing. It has an effect on sound design and resonance. Additionally, they control the portability and durability of the xylophone.
While each of these xylophones is suited for playing in different musical settings, you will still able to find or lay your hand on one that will suit your preference.