Adams 3.5 Octave Xylophone for Hire
The xylophone is close in appearance to the marimba. The notes are wooden and the instrument is laid out in a keyboard style. However, unlike the marimba the notes remain the same width from end to end and are much thicker. It is this thickness in combination with the style of stick that gives the xylophone its harsh and brittle sound. The first xylophones had their origins in Africa, Asia or Australasia where this was a very basic instrument; literally bars strung laid across two points and struck. It wasn't until much later, during the 1800's that the orchestral xylophone made its appearance. Modern xylophones are generally 3, 3.5 or 4 octave and the two rows of notes are supported by nylon cord which travels the length of the instrument. This cord passes through each end of the note. The best xylophone notes are made of Honduras rosewood and each note has its own resonator tube, the length of which corresponds to pitch of the note. General note width, is around 1.5" but this can vary with the manufacturer and xylophones found in the UK are usually tuned A=442. As xylophone notes are wooden and not metal, they can be put out of tune if treated badly or just through extensive use. Tuning xylophone notes is fairly straightforward but requires professional expertise. Most symphony orchestras will own a 4-octave model as this will take care of the standard orchestral repertoire.