The explanation of the terms listed below refer to their usage in the field of Mechanical Music. Many of the descriptions are from the book The Golden Age of Automatic Musical Instruments by MBSI member Arthur A. Reblitz, published by the Mechanical Music Press, Woodsville, New Hampshire; copyright 2001. They are used here with permission of the author and publisher. Permission is granted for writers to use a limited number of brief excerpts provided credit is given to the MBSI web site, the title of the original work and the author. Written permission is required for all other uses. German nouns and words that are also names of places are capitalized.
xylophone: 1. Set of tuned wooden bars struck by hard or medium-hard mallets, producing a bright staccato sound. From the Greek language: xylo = wood + phon = sound. A popular extra instrument in coin pianos and orchestrions, especially American nickelodeons of the Prohibition era. See marimba. 2. Careless description of orchestra bells (which are of metal and thus by logical definition of the word, cannot be a xylophone).