Xylophones are instruments which consist of wooden bars which are played
with sticks. Metallophones look similar, but have metal bars. They usually have
tubes or gourds below each bar to increase the volume and act as resonators.
Xylophones come in their standard form which is two rows on a stand, or can
be played a number of other ways. Celestas, look like upright pianos, however
they consist of a glockenspiel-like xylophone which is struck when a key is
pushed. Vibraphones look exactly like xylophones but sound worlds different,
this is because an electric fan produces a vibrato effect.
Chimes and bells are instruments struck with beaters, or rung by internal
clappers. Orchestral chimes were developed to make the rich sound of multi-ton
church bells, possible in the orchestra. From simple handbells, which are bells
played by flicking the wrist, to the common triangle... chimes and bells are
very popular melodic percussion instruments.
Contrary to its name, the small jew’s harp has no true relation to
Jewish music. When played it uses the mouth as its resonator, and depending on
how the musician forms his mouth, different sounds can be produced. A relative
of the jew’s harp is the mbira which consists of metal tongues attached to a
wooden soundboard. When plucked, these tongues produce a twangy sound.