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You know more now: Xylophone vs. glockenspiel

What happens when a fierce debate breaks out at the TRMS news meeting about what constitutes a xylophone?

Remember NBC’s truly amazing “The More You Know” campaign? Here at TRMS, we've developed our own version called “You Know More Now” – for when a news story ends on a cliff hanger and you don’t know for sure what will happen … until you do! You may have seen it on the show recently:

But these segments aren’t complete without the musical interlude. In the spirit of the original “The More You Know” ads, Rachel taps out the short NBC jingle with a mallet. As Rachel said on the show ;last week, these stories are typically “a news cliffhanger resolved with a xylophone, a real xylophone.”

Or so we thought. Since we started airing these segments, some of you have written to tell us that Rachel might actually be playing a glockenspiel – not a xylophone. The other day at the TRMS story meeting, we debated (fiercely) what constitutes a xylophone.

The company where we bought the instrument describes it as a "30-bell xylophone outfit." In classical terms, the xylophone and the glockenspiel both belong to the percussion family. A xylophone’s bars are typically made of wood, and on the glockenspiel, the bars are made of steel – just like on Rachel’s instrument. In fact, the Greek word “xylo” means “wood,” where “glock” in German means “bells.”

The differences don’t end there. Xylophones and glockenspiels have a different number of octaves, create sounds in different pitches, vary greatly in size. A concert xylophone is quite large, but glockenspiels are designed to be compact and portable. 

The verdict? It looks like Rachel has been playing a glockenspiel all along. And with that … You Know More Now!