I don't know exactly why, but the average non-percussionist thinks that any keyboard instrument is called a xylophone. Personally I get sort of a smug, self-satisfied chuckle out of it when somebody calls my marimba a, "little xylophone thingy," or when someone tries to sell a, "zylaphone" on the local classified ads.
Seriously, though. However you say it or spell it, they xylo is AWESOME. With its characteristic bright tone and cutting attack, it is one of the workhorses of the percussion section.
Don't believe me? Maybe these folks can help me out.
Notice the tone quality difference between the xylophone and the marimbas that are accompanying it.
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