Percussion instrument
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 111.212
(Sets of percussion sticks)
Developed 1950s

Chas E. Methven Ltd

The Pixiphone was a range of toy glockenspiels (although they were inaccurately labelled as xylophones on their packaging). The larger Pixiphones had a 'raiser-bar' which could be used to end a note abruptly, rather than letting it fade naturally. Although marketed as a children's toy, the Pixiphone could be tuned pitch-perfect and was very robust, resulting in many children using them at British schools.[1]

Diatonic Pixiphone 
Chromatic Pixiphone 


The Pixiphone was manufactured by Chas E. Methven Ltd, Chatham, Kent, England, and distributed by Playcraft Toys Ltd England from the 1950s to the 1970s (or possibly later).


The Pixiphone was played by Steve Took on three Tyrannosaurus Rex albums, where it is incorrectly (or jokingly) credited as a Pixiephone. [1]

The instrument was also used on the Badfinger song, "She Came Out of the Cold" which featured on the compilation album, Without You., by Jeremy Baines on the first Henry Cow album (Virgin, 1973) and by Daisy Chute on the three and me single 'Lazy Daze' (2015).

Similar instruments

Sooty Xylophones sold in the 1950s and 1960s

A similar but unrelated instrument was sold as the Sooty Pixie Xylophone (Pixie with an e) in the same period.


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