Difference between xylophone & vibraphone


1. Xylophone and vibraphone are both members of the mallet percussion family and have bars that produce sound when struck by a mallet.
2. Xylophone uses wooden bars and mallets made of plastic, rubber, or wood, while vibraphone uses aluminum bars and mallets covered with cord or yarn and shaped like a mushroom.
3. Xylophone is usually exclusive to symphony orchestras, concert bands, and musical theaters, while vibraphone is used more in jazz and popular music. Vibraphone also has pedals and motors to add effects to its sound, while xylophone does not.


Xylophone and vibraphone are both members of the mallet percussion family, which is one of the oldest musical families. These instruments have bars that produce sound when struck by a mallet. Each bar is attached to a resonator that provides natural amplification. They are commonly used in musical ensembles like symphony orchestras.


The xylophone originated in Asia and Africa and adds color to the orchestra. It is made of wooden bars tuned to different pitches and hit with a plastic, rubber, or wooden mallet. While the xylophone is popular in the percussion family, it is rarely used in popular music and is primarily exclusive to orchestras and musical theater productions.


The vibraphone, also known as the vibraharp or vibes, is the xylophone’s sibling in the percussion family. It looks similar to the xylophone but uses aluminum bars with resonator tubes and butterfly valves to produce a vibrato effect. It also has a sustain pedal, similar to a piano, that can control the length of the bars’ sound.

Difference between Xylophone and Vibraphone

The most noticeable difference between a xylophone and a vibraphone is their bars. Xylophones have wooden bars, usually made of rosewood, that are played with rubber, plastic, or wooden mallets. Vibraphones, on the other hand, have metal alloy bars, usually made of aluminum, that are played with mushroom-shaped mallets covered in cord or yarn.

Additionally, vibraphones have a pedal and a motor to add vibrato to their sound, while xylophones do not. Xylophones produce a bell-like, bright, and lively sound that stands out from other instruments. Vibraphones, on the other hand, produce a mellower and smoother sound that blends well with other instruments, making it more common in jazz and popular music.

In summary, xylophones and vibraphones are both elegant instruments that add uniqueness and interest to music. While xylophones are primarily used in orchestras and musical theater, vibraphones are more commonly used in jazz and other popular music. Xylophones have wooden bars and do not have pedals or motors, while vibraphones have metal bars and additional sound effects capabilities.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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