glockenspiel range

Glockenspiel range.

A glockenspiel is a keyboard percussion instrument, about 65 centimeters (14 inches) long and 43 centimeters (17 inches) wide, much smaller than a xylophone or marimba, that is made from steel bars of different sizes, tuned diatonically, and laid on felt strips. The bars may rest in a shallow wooden box, or have resonators. Some orchestral glockenspiels also have a pedal damper. As the metal bars ring for a relatively long time, the glockenspiel does not normally play rolls.


Before the nineteenth century, the orchestral glockenspiel was often operated by a keyboard. The glockenspiel, with its high pitch, can be used to represent delicate sounds like small bells, music boxes, fairies, and birds.


The range is generally two and a half octaves, and the instrument sounds two octaves higher than written. The standard written range is G below middle C to C, two octaves above middle C.


The name is German – glocken meaning "bells" and spiel meaning "play".