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The xylophone originated in eastern Asia, with the first evidence of a xylophone-like instrument from the 9th century A.D. found in Southeast Asia. Xylophones appeared in Africa before the 14th century and arrived in Europe with the Crusades prior to the 1500s. Early xylophones used wood, bamboo, and gourds to construct the bars and resonators, which were attached to wooden frames. Mallets were used to strike the bars to play notes.

The xylophone was introduced as an orchestra instrument in the 1800s in Europe, where traveling virtuosos caught the attention of prominent composers. In the late 1800s, the modern orchestra xylophone was developed, including two rows of chromatic bars and resonators. In 1903, John Calhoun Deagan of St. Louis, Missouri began manufacturing modern orchestra... Read more

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