X is for Xylophone

I loved my xylophone, and think it’d be a nifty Christmas gift for SOMEONE ELSE’S little child.

Wikipedia says: “The xylophone (from the Greek words ξύλον—xylon, ‘wood’ + φωνή—phonē, ‘sound, voice’, meaning ‘wooden sound’) is a musical instrument in the percussion family that consists of wooden bars struck by mallets.”

When I was a kid, I had a xylophone, very much like this one pictured, with an octave and a half. It was good for Mary Had a Little Lamb, or for Chopsticks, if you had two mallets.

But I was always disappointed that certain seemingly simple songs often had ONE note (or more) that wasn’t in the standard scale. I figured “Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music” [LISTEN] certainly would be able to be played on a keyboard [PLAY!], using only the white keys of a piano, which is all most kids’ xylophones had. After all, the very basis of the song is that DO-RE-MI, etc, were the building blocks of singing. Alas, at LA (A in the key of C), it goes A down to D-E-F#-G-A-B. Then at TI, it goes B down to E-F#-G#-A-B-C.

Likewise, Dominique by The Singing Nun [LISTEN], a big hit in my childhood, just before the return of the chorus, went (in C) E-D-E-F#-G. In other words, again, one needed an equivalent of a black note on a keyboard, missing on this simple instrument.

Still, I loved my xylophone. I think this would be a nifty Christmas gift for SOMEONE ELSE’S little child.

ABC Wednesday – Round 13

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

11 thoughts on “X is for Xylophone”

  1. Love how you suggest it as a gift for “someone else’s child.” lol I remember when my grandson (at age 3) received a drum set from his uncle…his parents were none too pleased!

    Do have a wonderful Christmas, Roger. It’s been great working with you,

    abcw team

  2. I looked for the old xylophone my daughter had as a child thinking I’d photograph it for X one round but it has disappeared into the bowels of the attic or I’m guessing it’s hiding up there somewhere. It looked very much like the one you used for this post. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  3. Well yes, I agree – someone else’s child!! Especially with the black keys missing….. Merry Christmas Roger, and many thanks for your devotion to the site.

  4. I had one as a kid, just like about everyone else. I loved to hear the melodic ring. Mine was all one colour. I would have loved one like this, pretty to see, pretty to hear. – Margy

  5. I think just about every kid I knew had one. I had a pretty similar looking one too. Enjoyed your Xcellent post.

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