A keyboard percussion instrument that is consists of wooden bars and metal resonators (the pipes that are situated below the bars so that they bring out the sound) set in a frame. They range from four to five octaves and are played with yarn mallets. Marimbas are one of the most esteemed percussion instruments that one can play. They have a beautiful, soft sound that can be quite haunting in a minor key on the lower registers. They are similar to xylophones.