The Xylophonics (Xylophoniker) was an ensemble that played on xylophones, metallophones, and marimbaphones and was sometimes accompanied by piano, organ, or guitar. The name Xylophonics comes from the early days when xylophones made up the majority of the instruments. As perfection increased, so did the demands on the instruments, so that the xylophones were gradually replaced by marimbaphones.

When the church musician Barbara Klose (1942 - 2019) took up her position in the Evangelical Church Community of Unterhaching, she was obliged to found so-called "Orff Circles" for children and young people (the community of Unterhaching had provided money to support this to enable numerous Unterhaching children to enjoy musical offerings). In 1969, several Orff groups were formed, one of which played so well together that from 1978 onwards public performances took place outside the parish and the first concert tours were undertaken.

After concert activity increased, a more catchy name was needed, as "Orff Circle of the Evangelical Church Community of Unterhaching" was a bit unwieldy. During a concert, the audience was asked to vote among various suggested names. As the winner, the name "Xylophoniker", a beautiful word creation from the audience, was chosen as the future name of the group and used from 1982.

Until 2007, the group performed in Germany and in neighbouring European countries such as Austria, France and Denmark.

Larger concert tours took the group to Iceland (1986) and Finland (1988). The longest and most impressive concert tour was organized and accompanied by the Ecumenical Office in Munich: In 1990, the group performed for three weeks in El Salvador under the motto "Christmas in Peace".

Their first record was released in 1984, followed by recordings for Bayerischer Rundfunk in 1989. A CD was produced in 1992 and 1998.

Barbara Klose was in charge of the Xylophonics. She was a church musician in Unterhaching, a Protestant community in the Munich district, where, among other things, she led various choirs and Orff groups. She also gave music lessons for adults and children.

The group's colorful repertoire - which includes compositions from the Renaissance, Baroque, Viennese Classic, Romantic, and Modern eras as well as ragtimes and international folklore - was arranged by Barbara Klose for the group's instruments. Although Barbara Klose was happy to use the typical instruments provided in the "Orff school work", she refused to exclusively use the compositions contained there. Rather, her intention was to bring children and young people into contact with the diversity of original compositions from all eras right from the start. To make this possible, Barbara Klose transcribed the compositions tailored to each existing group.

It was a fascinating experience to hear these well-known pieces in an unfamiliar sound, which was further enhanced by the artists' good interaction and their joy in playing.

For most members - with the exception of leader Barbara Klose - music was a hobby. Individual members have turned their hobby into a profession and have remained loyal to the group for many years as professional musicians. The line-up consisted of four or five musicians and there was no fixed instrument assignment. The former members today include architects, high school teachers, computer scientists, lawyers, doctors, music teachers, and music therapists.

If you would like to see some pictures of the Xylophonics ...

© Die Xylophoniker