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The vibraphone (or vibes) is a keyboard percussion instrument that consists of a series of metal bars suspended above hollow resonating tubes with a motor-driven mechanical oscillator.

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Range of a standard vibraphone.


Leedy Manufacturing Company created the first vibraphones in the United States in 1921. However, the 1921 vibraphone is very different from today's vibraphone.

Lionel Hampton, musician in the Benny Goodman Quintet made the Vibes famous in jazz.


  • J. C. Deagan, Inc., of Chicago, IL, USA modern vibes manufacturer. Called Vibraharps.
  • Jenco Company, of Decatur, IL, USA called them vibrabells.
  • Premier Drum Company, of London, UK
  • Bergerault, of Ligueil, France began 1930s
  • Musser Company 1948-Claire Omar Musser
  • Yamaha Corporation 1960s and 1970s Yamaha took Leedy's design and improved it.

Instruments and Voices
Woodwinds Flute (Piccolo/Alto/Bass)RecorderOboe (Cor Anglais/Oboe D'amore/Heckelphone)Clarinet (E♭/Bass/Contrabass)

Bassoon (Contrabassoon)SaxophoneBagpipes

Brass HornCornetTrumpetTromboneEuphoniumTubaSaxhorns
Keyboards PianoOrganHarmoniumHarpsichordClavichordCelestaAccordion
Percussion Tuned: TimpaniGlockenspielChimesVibraphoneXylophoneMarimbaCrotalesMusical sawHammered Dulcimer

Untuned: Snare drumBass drumTriangleCymbalsGongsTom-tomsShakersDrumset

Electronic ThereminOndes MartenotSynthesizerElectronic Wind Instrument
Stringed Bowed: ViolinViolaVioloncelloContrabass

Plucked: HarpGuitarMandolinBanjo

Voices Female: SopranoMezzo-soprano (often mistaken with Alto)Contralto (often mistaken with Alto)

Male: TrebleCountertenorTenorBaritoneBass-baritoneBass