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Glockenspiel - Brief description

Glockenspiel (orchestra bells)
German: Glockenspiel
French: jeu de timbres, carillon
Italian: campanelli

The name glockenspiel is German and means "bell play"; it refers to the sound of small bells. The very first instruments to carry this name did indeed consist of a set of small bells which were played either by a group of musicians or struck by means of a complicated mechanism. At the end of the 17th century steel bars began to replace the bells. Initially only a substitute for real bells, this arrangement of metal bars soon developed into a musical instrument in its own right and retained the name "glockenspiel".

Like the xylophone, the glockenspiel is also a great favorite with children. Carl Orff used it from the 1930s for his Method. Children's instruments have a smaller range, are tuned diatonically and have bars resting over a frame like a trough. They are made in various ranges. Lower-pitched glockenspiels have short resonators and are generally known as metallophones.

Idiophone, metallophone, percussion instrument with definite pitch, mallet instrument

Metal bars
Steel alloy;
Width: 2.5–3.1 cm
Thickness: 0.5–1 cm

Table-shaped frame
Dimensions: approx. 76 x 36–46 cm
Height: 5–8 cm

Stand – The “open glockenspiel”
Metal stand; height is adjustable (81–94 cm), usually on wheels. The stand of the open glockenspiel is partly enclosed in the case. The table glockenspiel is placed on a table.

The case acts as the soundbox (resonator)

5–12 kg

Damper pedal
Glockenspiels on a stand usually have a damper pedal, table glockenspiels do not.

Equal temperament, the tuning tone is generally 442 hertz