Belarusians Contributing to the World Science and Technology Development (Mikhail Iosif Guzikov)

23 january 2021


Inventor of the xylophone. Musician.

Mikhail Iosif Guzikov was born on September 14, 1806 in Shklov, Mogilev region.

At the beginning of his career, he played a folk instrument called the “straw harmonica”, which was a primitive set of plaques. Subsequently, Guzikov improved this instrument greatly, creating, in fact, a modern model of a four-row xylophone with a volume of two and a half octaves of the chromatic range.

Increasing the number of records to 21/2 octaves of the chromatic scale, Guzikov arranged them in a special order that facilitates performance, fixed the records on tubes of woven straw, achieving their free vibration and greater sound power. The new instrument, the xylophone, had a particularly soft and pleasant tone. Thus, Mikhail Iosif Guzikov became the creator of the classic xylophone model and one of the first solo performers on it. Thanks to him, the xylophone has become a full-fledged instrument of classical music.

Guzikov's xylophone model was used practically unchanged for several decades.

More information about his career as a musician see here.

Sourced from the database of the Republican Library on Science and Technology

Photo: RLST