Definition of glockenspiel in English:



  • A musical percussion instrument having a set of tuned metal pieces mounted in a frame and struck with small hammers.

    • ‘Webern's original intention for op.24 was to write a piano concerto, and the preliminary sketches are for a large and colourful orchestra, including mandolin, glockenspiel, celesta, harp and piccolo.’
    • ‘Along for the ride are a battered old piano, an oboe, a glockenspiel and a banjo.’
    • ‘With liberal use of glockenspiel, harmonium and mouth organ, it sounds like he found his instruments in a playgroup toy box.’
    • ‘For her second solo CD, the local multi-instrumentalist has produced a grand record featuring everything from glockenspiel and saw to accordion, and even tuba.’
    • ‘In the 19th century glockenspiels were often made of glass under the name ‘harmonica’ or ‘armonica’, as used by Saint-Saëns in Le Carnaval des animaux for ‘Oiseaux’.’
    • ‘A marimba also is essentially a set of wooden bars, while the glockenspiel and vibraphone involve metal bars.’
    • ‘With the chime of the glockenspiel and the slow pull of the violin the band began and invited us to witness a cavalcade of sound and images.’
    • ‘There's too much sweetness overall, and a couple of unnecessary instrumentals rife with resonant pianos and tinkling glockenspiels.’
    • ‘The music began in slightly oriental fashion, then filled out with strange scratching noises, the sound of a glockenspiel being played with a cello bow and semi-random percussion.’
    • ‘Only the brightest sparks musically got the real instruments, such as the glockenspiels, i.e. those instruments upon which you could actually play more than one note.’
    • ‘They meet up in Torino without much of a plan and immerse themselves in the studio with trad rock instruments plus a bunch of theremins and glockenspiels.’
    • ‘In lesson time pupils learn to play ‘classroom’ instruments such as the glockenspiel or xylophone, and there are 65 teachers who go out and deliver tuition for other instruments.’
    • ‘Have a good listen right up to the part where the glockenspiel comes in.’
    • ‘String groupings of violins and cellos swell throughout and voice aching, mournful melodies, the piano occasionally joined by a celeste or glockenspiel.’
    • ‘Rather than tinkering with tradition, he expands upon it with computer-generated hums and bleeps, tambourines and glockenspiel, warming the stark acoustic sound.’
    • ‘The former work is rather seductive, thanks in part to the coos of the vocalists and also because of the exotic tones of the marimbas, glockenspiels, and metallophone.’
    • ‘Beneath it, there's a sense that the ever-present vibraphone and glockenspiel are tapping out a secret language.’
    • ‘The arrangements are spare yet sky-wide, occasionally visited by banjos, accordions, glockenspiels, and theremin.’
    • ‘They certainly haven't ignored technology, but the use of instruments like banjo, accordion, glockenspiel and pump organ enhances the weathered folk feel of the music.’
    • ‘Flitting fitfully from discordant strings and hectic glockenspiels to lean oboe solos, Rota's masterpiece is an unstable symphony to the teeming metropolis.’


Early 19th century (denoting an organ stop imitating the sound of bells): from German Glockenspiel, literally ‘bell play’.