xy·lo·phone /ˈzaɪləˌfon ||ˈzɪ-/
1. Mus. Originally, an instrument common among the Russians, Poles, and Tartars, consisting of a series of strips of wood or glass graduated in length to the musical scale, resting on belts of straw, and struck with two small hammers; now any similar musical instrument composed of a series of bars of graduated length. Called in Germany strohfiedel, or straw fiddle.
2. An instrument to determine the vibrative properties of different kinds of wood.
n : a percussion instrument with wooden bars tuned to produce a
chromatic scale and with resonators; played with small
mallets [syn: marimba]