Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A percussion instrument consisting of a mounted row of wooden bars graduated in length to sound a chromatic scale, played with two small mallets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a musical instrument made of wooden slats graduated so as to make the sounds of the scale when struck with a small drumstick-like hammer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument common among the Russians, Poles, and Tartars, consisting of a series of strips of wood or glass graduated in length to the musical scale, resting on belts of straw, and struck with two small hammers. Called in Germany strohfiedel, or straw fiddle.
  • n. An instrument to determine the vibrative properties of different kinds of wood.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A musical instrument consisting of a graduated series of wooden bars, often supported on bands of straw, and sounded by means of small wooden hammers or by rubbing with rosined gloves. The tone is often agreeable and effective. Also gigelira, sticcada, and strawfiddle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a percussion instrument with wooden bars tuned to produce a chromatic scale and with resonators; played with small mallets

Etymologies

From xylo- (“of wood”) + -phone (“sound”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • More importantly, I believe the xylophone is a painfully under-utilized instrument.

    Just because ...

  • The xylophone is a species of harmonica composed of strips or cylinders of wood, struck with two little hammers.

    Principles of orchestration

  • David, another interesting part in the studio version of "Tell It To The Rain" that you might have noticed is the xylophone, which is duplicated by the guitar in the introduction of

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • I vomited at the thought of one more weirdie-beardy, ski-cap-wearing indie band shoving a glockenspiel in my face (and can we knock it off and just call it a "xylophone" maybe already?), and at first listen I'll have to confess at having no great jones to have another round of this.

    Glide Magazine - Music :: Culture :: Life

  • You cannot blame people if they cannot manage such compl ... "dm10003 said:" i think the xylophone is a subliminal cu m shot of ridicule by the producers. good thing the soul is ... "

    Boing Boing

  • First, "neutrality" means simply that everything on the Internet must travel at the same speed, whether it's the Bluetooth device that connects my cardiac monitor to a hospital or a kid downloading a video of a cat playing the xylophone.

    Everett Ehrlich: Why Liberals Should Think Twice About Net Neutrality

  • A six-story-high microtonal xylophone that can produce smaller intervals between achievable tones than are heard when playing conventional Western musical scales.

    George Heymont: There's Art Right At Your Fingertips!

  • Ah yes, the landscape is poor and there is more concrete than anyone needs but we have music that involves more than a xylophone and we can buy groceries at all national chains as well as the various mercados sprinkled about the city ..

    Looking for English speaking friends in Merida

  • We were awakened each morning by a Filipino steward playing a xylophone while calling out "First call for breakfast."

    Happy Voyages, if Not

  • The instrumental passages allowed all the musicians to solo, with no more emphasis on such traditional instruments as balafon a wooden-keyed xylophone and congas than electric guitar and bass.

    In concert: Yoro Ndiaye at Millennium Stage

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Comments

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  • Was there ever a time when it was acceptable to say it as "zill-a-phone" rather than "zye-la-phone?"

    August 6, 2011