The xylophone has a brighter tone than its cousin the marimba, and the notes have less sustain. Modern xylophones include short resonating tubes below the bars. A xylophone with a range extending downwards into the marimba range is called a xylorimba.
The xylophone features in a number of classical pieces, with the Danse macabre (1874) by Camille Saint-Saëns, and "Fossils" from the same composer's Carnival of the Animals (1886) being two of the better known. An early use of the xylophone in a symphony is found in Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6.