See item in our catalogue

Metal Xylophones 


Metal Xylophone with striker. Eight round metal pipes tied together with thin rope between two bamboo ends, which are intricately carved.

Cultural notes

The Xylophone is one of many percussion instruments used in traditional Indonesian ‘Gamelan’ ensembles. The most common instruments used in Gamelan are metallophones played by mallets and a set of hand-played drums called kendhang which register the beat. Other instruments include xylophones, bamboo flutes, a bowed instrument called a rebab, and even vocalists called sindhen.

Although the popularity of gamelan has declined since the introduction of pop music, gamelan is still commonly played on formal occasions and in many traditional Indonesian ceremonies. For most Indonesians, gamelan is an integral part of Indonesian culture.

Suggested activities

Music and Movement:

  • Borrow a range of different percussion instruments and explore rhythm and beats
  • Explore the different sounds. Play a high note and then a low note. Ask children to put their hands in the sky if the second note was higher, or to the ground if it was lower. Start with the notes very different and then get closer and closer.

Art & Craft: 

  • Create your own instruments using loose parts and recycled items.

Language and Counting: 

  • Practice counting from 1-10 in Indonesian, using the xylophone to strike the same number of times as the number you are counting


External Links

Related items in our catalogue

The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.