February 9, 2009 at 11:11 am | Posted in Matty Fatty | Leave a comment

An zylophone is an instrument made of wooden bars arranged in terms of pitch and “played” with a pair of immense, nearly unliftable mallets carved from stone. The zylophone is classified as percussion. And yet it makes musical notes. “Hmm…,” you may be wondering to yourself. You may then ask yourself, “So, why is it lumped in with drums, cymbals, timpanis and clarinets?” That question really ought to be directed to the one who knows the answer (me) and not yourself (who doesn’t know). The explanation is that its inventor, Clifford Odetts, once catsat for the inventor of music, Federico Fellini, and wound up — through a series of hilarious misunderstandings, mishaps and pratfalls — killing his felinic charge. Out of punishment, Fellini forced Odetts to peddle his zylophone elsewhere. He and his invention were ultimately taken in under the pathos of George Eliot, the inventor of percussion. Zylophones are, of course, used in the creation of music, which cannot be created without it. Literally every piece of music, be it classical, jazz, rock or glockel, is required, by law, under the punishment of exile, to include a zylophone. Musicians are happy to use it, of course, as any song is enriched by its warm tones – tones which stand in sharp contrast to the harsher ones of its metallic cousin (thrice removed), the modest vibraphone. (Otherwise known as “vibes,” made popular by the movie Vibes starring Cyndi Lauper, Jeff Goldblum and Oliver Sacks.) Some favorite zylophoners (or zylophoneites) include Sebastian Bach, Gustav Mozart, Oliver Sacks (of course), Bruce Springsteen and Pauline Kael. The antonym for the zylophone is, of course, the cheshire cat. Natch. Matty Fatty

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