When I was very young, I was given a toy xylophone, identical to the one in the picture above. I would spend many happy hours bashing it with the small round ‘hammers’, which I am sure must have caused some consternation to my parents. Sadly, other toys interested me more later, and I never learned to play anything resembling a real tune on it.
Once I was older, I became interested in Jazz music and listened to some records where some of the solos were played on an instrument called ‘Vibes’ When I eventually saw a photo of someone playing them, I realised that it was little more than a huge xylophone, with the addition of tubes to amplify the sound. It was known as a ‘Vibraphone’.
The leading exponent of this instrument was the American Jazz-man Lionel Hampton.
Here is Lionel, playing his huge hit ‘Flying Home’.
I still like the sound.