Glockenspiel

Courtesy of Arthur Ka Wai Jenkins
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Pitch range

Glockenspiel pitch range, courtesy of Hannah Whale

The glockenspiel is a set of metal (steel) bars arranged like a piano keyboard.

The bars sit in order of length, like the piano’s strings: the shorter ones sound higher notes and the longer ones sound lower notes.

To play it

You stand over it and strike the bars with beaters, usually made of plastic or brass.

The sound

It makes a tinkling, bright, cheerful sound.

Do You Know?

Do You Know?

See if you can answer the questions below!

 What are the bars of a glockenspiel made from?

a. Silver
b. Rosewood
c. Steel

 Which word best describes the sound of the glockenspiel?

a. Breathy
b. Heavy
c. TInkling

 What is used to strike the bars?

a. A beater
b. A drumstick
c. Your fingers

 Where is the pedal?

a. There is no pedal
b. Underneath the bars
c. To the right of the instrument

 Which composer used the glockenspiel in a ballet called The Nutcracker?

a. Grieg
b. Tchaikovsky
c. Chopin

Play More Music!

Play More Music!

Here is more music to listen to. Click the + to see tracks and information about each work!

Selected Glockenspiel Extracts

Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)
The Nutcracker, Op. 71: Act II. Chinese Dance (extract)

The glockenspiel tinkles with the flute in a quick dance.

Performers: Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ondrej Lenárd

Taken from Naxos 8.550515