The glockenspiel, also known as orchestral bells, is generally considered as being played 2 octaves above written. With a clear tone, and in the upper registers, a bell like quality, the glockenspiel is instantly recognizable when played in the orchestra. Although it can be played with brass mallets, it’s more often likely to be played with rubber mallets, as the tone can be sometimes piercingly overpowerful, and too metallic. The glockenspiel is definitely a tone color instrument and should be used more for effect by the composer, than regular inclusion in an orchestration. Played rapid sequences on the glockenspiel dulls the effect for the listener, as the pitch and tone, sitting so far up the harmonic scale, tends to blur, and become indistinct in pitch.


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