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What is a Lithophone

Updated on August 21, 2013
Lithophone is a type of xylophone .This lithophone is just one of the many and cool things you can find at Questacon.
Lithophone is a type of xylophone .This lithophone is just one of the many and cool things you can find at Questacon.
The lithophone is displayed at the courtyard of Questacom for kids to play.
The lithophone is displayed at the courtyard of Questacom for kids to play.

When my daughter and I went to Canberra, Australia, we visited Questacon Centre, a place where you can find a lot of cool things, it is a hands on interactive science museum for kids and for the young at heart. We have a good time going around and checking exhibitions, on the courtyard we found this lithophone, which is a type of Xylophone.

Xylophone are percussion instruments that you strike or hit like a drum.

Xylo means - wooden; litho means stone and phone means sound. So a lithophone is a stone percussion instrument

If you have played xylophones made from wood, metal or stone you may have noticed that they sound different. This is called ("timbre").

An instrument's "timbre" is affected by its shape, how it is played and the material from which it is made. When you hit a xylophone, it vibrates and produces sound. Different materials vibrate in different ways, so each xylophone's timbre may sound warm, tinny, clunky or clear.

Lithophones have been around for ages, the oldest stone lithophones are Chinese bianquing, which are believe to be more than 4000 years old.

This lithophone was made in Israel and was generously donated by the Pratt Foundation and Leon and Ilana Kempler. This lithophone can be found at Questacon- Australia's National Science and Technology Centre situated at Canberra.

I got interested with this instrument and I searched and found some interesting you tube video, musicians showing their skills in playing the lithophone.

Check them out!

Park Bench Lithophone

Đàn đá (Lithophone

Lithophone Demo

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    • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

      Julie-Ann Amos 8 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

      What a cool hub - I'd never heard of this!

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