Orff Instruments

Orff Instruments

The Orff movement is based on the innovation of Carl Orff. His ideas were developed, together with Gunild Keetman, into a very innovative approach to music education for children, known as the "Orff Schulwerk". The music is elemental and combines music. movement, singing, drama, speech, and improvisation into lessons that are similar to a child's world of play. The approach releases creativity that extends far beyond the music classroom. This is an internationally recognized approach to music education.

The main instruments used in the Orff programme are xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels. The programme uses the diatonic version of these instruments although chromatic add-ons are available. All diatonic Orff instruments come with 1 Bb and 2 F# notes, known as accidental bars. Together with the diatonic notes this gives each instrument 16 notes, each note can be removed from the instrument. All glockenspiels, metallophones and xylophones purchased from Empire Music are supplied with solidly constructed wood resonator boxes. Empire Music offers a 5-year replacement warranty on the bars.

Glockenspiels are the smallest of the Orff instruments and come in soprano and alto ranges. The soprano is the highest pitched of all Orff instruments and the range is C6-A7. The alto glockenspiel range is C5-A6. Glockenspiels traditionally have a smaller resonator box.

Metallophones come in soprano, alto and bass instruments. The resonator boxes on these are deeper to allow for more resonance. The soprano metallophone has the same range as the alto glockenspiel, C5-A6, the alto metallophone C4-A5 and the bass metallophone C3-A4. All our metallophones come with perfectly tuned aluminum bars and are supplied with bar storage, damper attachments and 2 pairs of mallets.

Xylophones come in soprano, alto, and bass instruments. The note range on these is the same as for the metallophones. All xylophones have wooden bars. They also come with solidly constructed resonant resonator boxes. The soprano, alto and bass instruments come with bar storage and 2 pairs of mallets.

The xylophones have an additional note range in that large solo notes are sold on individual resonator boxes. These are called sub and contra-bass notes and the range is one octave below the bass xylophone starting with the sub contra-bass notes C2, D2 and E2 and moving to the contra-bass notes F2-B2.

These are the basic instruments for an Orff programme. Many peripherals may be added to enhance your collection. We offer many suggested starter sets to help with your selection.

For a rule of thumb to start an Orff programme it is recommend that you purchase 2 woods for 1 metal instrument. The alto instruments are the most popular to begin a programme.

If you would like to start an Orff programme, please take a look at our product pages below, or contact us directly if you would like more information.


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Ring, Dance, Play - Q8660
Ring, Dance, Play By Griff Gall and Paul Weller Ring, Dance and Play is a music education resource designed for Bell Chimes and Orff Shulwerk. Ring, Dance, Play brings together the versatility, playability and tonality of Bell Chimes with the revolutionary and engaging Orff Schulwerk pedagogy. This powerful combination will prove instrumen..
SKU: Q8660