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Orff Style Instruments


This range of eight instruments, comprising three xylophones, three metallophones and two glockenspiels is designed on the internationally accepted Orff Schulwerk standard, with the added advantage that each instrument in the range covers two full octaves. The xylophones have stable and durable tempered sneezewood keys, the metallophones polished aluminium, and the glockenspiels nickel plated steel keys. The bodies are all painstakingly handcrafted in laminated pine, and feature a curved keyboard, carrying handles and beater storage bays. Each instrument comes with a set of beaters.

Xylophones or metallophones can be supplied as just the single box with the two octaves in C major, with additional notes to allow conversion to different keys (e.g. 2 F# keys and 2 Bb keys) or with a separate box carrying the chromatic notes. Glockenspiels are supplied with all chromatic notes as standard.

For a Graphic view of the Pitch Ranges of all our instruments, Click Here.

    Orff Schulwerk Facts    
Carl Orff was born in 1892 in Germany. His early interest was in adult dance and movement. He began his work with teaching children when he was asked to write music for the opening of the 1936 Olympic Games.

After the second world war he developed music teaching methods based on rhythm and dance. Out of this was born the Orff Schulwerk teaching method. Orff used ideas involving untuned percussion (including body percussion) and singing, to form the basis for a childs' musical awareness and appreciation. Later, tuned percussion can be introduced, moving through pentatonic, then diatonic and on to modal and chromatic scales.

These small xylophones, with removable keys, were developed to provide practical tools through which musical concepts and skills could be taught.

There is an extremely active Orff Society in South Africa. Called the:



who can be contacted in the following ways:
  • By Phone: ( 011 ) 452 4889 /                     ( 011 ) 882 7058
  • Web Site:  www.orff.org.za

- for solo, group or orchestral work. 2 octave range (C'' to C'''') sneezewood keys on a five box resonator. Played with hard rubber headed beaters.
- for solo, group or orchestral work. 2 octave range (C' to C''') sneezewood keys on a five box resonator. Played with felt headed beaters. The bottom octave is overtone-tuned.
- for solo, group or orchestral work. 2 octave range (C to C'') sneezewood keys on a seven box resonator. Played with wool wrapped polyurethane headed beaters. All keys are overtone-tuned.
Metallophones are available in sizes and layouts identical to the Xylophones. The hand- polished aluminium keys give a brilliant, clear ring, with a vastly increased sustain, and are therefore ideal for playing chords, or providing a contrasting sound to the xylophones. Notes can be damped using the beaters or by hand if a pizzicato effect is required.
Two ranges: Alto (C'' to C'''') and Treble (C''' to C''''') are available, and feature built in dampers to vary the sound from sustain to pizzicato. Alto supplied with hard rubber headed beaters and Treble with wooden headed beaters.
Bass Chime Bars
Bass bars exploit the exceptional sound of Sneezewood to an even greater extent, by placing individual notes on precisely tuned resonators. This enables music groups to build up a collection of notes that are tailor made for their requirements (e.g. A pentatonic set in the most commonly used key) and to enjoy a strong, mellow bass support in their ensembles. They are available from middle C to an octave below for the bass range, and a further octave below for the contrabass range.

Log Xylophones

    Log Xylophone Facts    
These unresonated xylophones have been inspired by African instruments from many traditions. They are commonly played by more than one person at a time, and the ends of the keys (rather than the middle) are struck, producing fast, exciting, interlocking patterns. These xylophones are economical, in that they can accommodate up to four children at a time, playing from both sides, and are an ideal introduction to the richness of African musical ideas and rhythms, while still being tuned to western pentatonic scales. African tuned instruments may be produced on request.
11-Note Pentatonic
Shown is an 11 note pentatonic log xylophone in 'C', but we also produce a 9 note pentatonic instrument in F, and, due to the demand from schools, a 15 note diatonic instrument, which can even have a full chromatic keyboard added as well. Keys are supported on a simple wooden frame, lower notes are overtone tuned and instruments can be supplied either with sneezewood or with cheaper kiaat wood notes.

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