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 worked for a number of years at Normans Musical Instruments, progressing from a Saturday Sales Assistant to a full time Brass Specialist within our Sales Team. Heidi has now left Normans and we wish her all the best for her future endeavors.