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All About the Glockenspiel

Musical instruments are available in a huge variety of shapes, sounds, purposes, materials, and sizes.  It would be a difficult task to name all the instruments of the world, much less learn the history of them.  One instrument that is interesting to learn about is called the Glockenspiel.

Glockenspiel is just a fun word to say aloud, and it is also a fun-sounding musical instrument.  Similar to a xylophone in appearance, the glockenspiel is a percussion instrument that has a set of bars that are usually played with a small rubber mallet.  The glockenspiel falls into the metallophone category because its bars are made of metal; unlike a xylophone’s bars that are made of wood.  The glockenspiel is usually smaller in size than a xylophone, and creates musical sounds that are higher in pitch.

The glockenspiel originated as an instrument consisting of bells in multiple sizes in the early 14th century.  The translation of the word “glockenspiel” literally means “bell-play”.  There were large glockenspiels that were initially used in church towers to create the unique bell sound, and smaller ones that people had in their homes.

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