A folk marimba is made up of a row of wooden bars that are arranged from largest to smallest. To make music, the bars are struck with soft mallets. (The larger the bar, the lower the sound. The smaller the bar, the higher the sound.) The sounds are made louder as they echo through hollow gourds that hang under each bar. The Guatemalan marimba is a popular folk instrument that has come to symbolize the independence of the Guatemalan Republic. The marimba is also popular in many African countries.