The marimba () is a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with mallets to produce musical tones. Resonators attached to the bars amplify their sound. The bars are arranged as those of a piano, with the accidentals raised vertically and overlapping the natural bars (similar to a piano) to aid the performer both visually and physically. This instrument is a type of idiophone, but with a more resonant and lower-pitched tessitura than the xylophone. The chromatic marimba was developed in what used to be Guatemala centuries ago, The diatonic marimba is an instrument whose ancestor was a type of balafon that African slaves built in Guatemala, the marimba is also the official national instrument of Guatemala, due to it originating there. Modern uses of the marimba include solo performances, woodwind and brass ensembles, marimba concertos, jazz ensembles, marching band (front ensembles), drum and bugle corps, and orchestral compositions. Contemporary composers have used the unique sound of the marimba more and more in recent years.