What’s the difference between a Xylophone & Glockenspiel? They both have bars. They’re both melodic pieces of percussion. You hit them with a stick. Surely these are basically the same, just re-branded with different names?

Well, no. There is one notable difference:

Glockenspiel = Metal            Xylophone = Wood

In all, it’s in the name. Glock in German is Bell, ergo the Glockenspiel. The Xylophone is made of Xylos, aka wood. Metal bars and Wooden bars. Glock and Xylos.


Yep, that’s it.

Well, not really. Although, that is certainly the biggest difference. Some other differences are:

  • The Xylophone is thought to be from Africa while it is believed the Glock is German.
  • The Glockenspiel has a higher pitch than the Xylophone.
  • Generally, the Glock has a smaller range than the Xylophone.
  • With the above in mind, the Xylophone is larger than the Glock.


Still unsure? Have a listen yourself…

About the author

Heidi has been working for a number of years at Normans progressing from the Saturday Sales Assistant to a Brass Specialist. A grade 8 player she loves to play all genres of music spanning Classical to Jazz. With over ten years of playing both the Trumpet and Cornet this is, of course, what she loves to write blogs about.