|Other names||concert bells, orchestral bells|
(Sets of percussion sticks)
|written like F3-C6, sounds like F5-C8|
|xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, tubular bell|
A glockenspiel (German pronunciation: [ˈɡlɔkənˌʃpiːl], glocken:bells and spiel:play) is a percussion instrument composed of a set of tuned keys arranged in the fashion of the keyboard of a piano. In this way, it is similar to the xylophone; however, the xylophone's bars are made of wood, while the glockenspiel's are metal plates or tubes, thus making it a metallophone. The glockenspiel, moreover, is usually smaller and higher in pitch.
In German, a carillon is also called a Glockenspiel, while in French, the glockenspiel is often called a carillon. In music scores the glockenspiel is sometimes designated by the Italian term campanelli.
When used in a marching or military band, the bars are sometimes mounted in a portable case and held vertically, sometimes in a lyre-shaped frame. However, sometimes the bars are held horizontally using a harness similar to a marching snare harness. In orchestral use, the bars are mounted horizontally. A pair of hard, unwrapped mallets, generally with heads made of plastic or metal, are used to strike the bars, although mallet heads can also be made of rubber (though using too-soft rubber can result in a dull sound). If laid out horizontally, a keyboard may be attached to the instrument to allow chords to be more easily played. Another method to playing chords is to play with four mallets, two per hand.
The glockenspiel is limited to the upper register, and usually covers about two and a half to three octaves, but can also reach up to 3.5 octaves. The glockenspiel is a transposing instrument; its parts are written two octaves below the sounding notes. When struck, the bars give a very pure, bell-like sound.
Glockenspiels are still quite popular and appear in almost all genres of music ranging from hip-hop to jazz. Percussionist Neil Peart of the rock band Rush uses the glockenspiel in several of the band's arrangements, most notably in the commercial hit songs "The Spirit of Radio" and "Closer to the Heart", and also in album tracks "Xanadu" and "Circumstances".
The glockenspiel was also featured in Jimi Hendrix's classic ballad "Little Wing", Avenged Sevenfold's song "Nightmare" during the intro, as well as in indie folk music by artists such as Paul Duncan of Warm Ghost. George Martin, The Beatles' producer, plays glockenspiel on the band's song "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" to help create the atmosphere of the Pablo Fanque circus performance that inspired the song.  John Lennon also plays it on "Only a Northern Song". Panic! At The Disco have used glockenspiel in several of their songs, including their hits "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" and "Build God, Then We'll Talk".
Two well-known classical pieces that uses the glockenspiel are Handel's Saul and Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, both of which originally used instruments constructed using bells rather than bars to produce their sound. (The part is sometimes performed on a celesta, however, which sounds quite different from the intended effect.)
Other instruments that work on the same struck-bar principle as the glockenspiel include the marimba and the vibraphone. There are also many glockenspiel-like instruments in Indonesian gamelan ensembles.
In England, the United States, and Canada, there is a form of glockenspiel called a bell lyre, or bell lyra. The bell lyre is a form of glockenspiel commonly used in marching bands. It is played upright and has an extendable spike which is held on a strap. The player marches with the strap over his shoulder and plays the instrument upright with a beater. Another variation of the bell lyre exists which is held by a strap round the shoulders and back. This variation is played horizontally with two beaters as it does not need to be held upright. Since the middle of the 19th century this form of the instrument has also been used in military and civil bands in Germany, where it is called a Stahlspiel or Militär-Glockenspiel. The all-percussion Drum and lyre corps in the Philippines uses this as a main instrument.
- Keyboard glockenspiel
- Mbila (musical instrument)
- Musical Stones of Skiddaw
Glockenspiel and crotales
Like many similar toys, the Pixiphone was sold as a xylophone but is in fact a glockenspiel
- Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
- Peter Funk (19 January 2006). "Paul Duncan: Be Careful What You Call Home". PopMatters. Retrieved 2011-05-08.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- Luttrell, Guy L. (1979). The Instruments of Music, p.165. Taylor & Francis.
- "The Vibraphone and Glockenspiel". All About Mallet Percussion. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Glockenspiel.|
|Look up Glockenspiel in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Glockenspiel at the Vienna Symphonic Library
- Royalschoolsources Percussion Pages—Online sources for the prescribed music of the Royal Schools of Music practical exams