from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A percussion instrument similar to a marimba but having metal bars and rotating disks in the resonators to produce a vibrato. Also called vibraharp.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A percussion instrument with a double row of tuned metal bars, each above the tubular resonator containing a motor-driven rotating vane, giving a vibrato effect.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a percussion instrument similar to a xylophone but having metal bars and rotating disks in the resonators that produce a vibrato sound


Latin vibrāre, to shake; see vibrate + -phone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From vibrato +‎ -phone. (Wiktionary)


  • The vibraphone is a strange feeling, has a very unusual sound in music.

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  • While singers, woodwind, pianists Reich included and string players stay at their stations, the percussionists move among their instruments, taking over from one another or stepping out of the music altogether until required to return for a new section, always signalled by a bell-like declaration from the vibraphone.

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  • Composed by Jack Perla for an ensemble of violin, cello, bass, vibraphone and pipa, with a libretto by playwright Eugenie Chan for a cast of four, its story is about reconciling pride in modern America with Chinese tradition across three generations.

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  • And once we have all had our fill of "Lady of Spain," "Arrivederci, Roma" and "The Pennsylvania Polka," the accordion will give way to such vaunted engines of musical oppression as the electric harmonica, the kazoo and the vibraphone.

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  • His family looked around our small town of Anderson, Ind., and found a lady who gave lessons on the marimba and vibraphone.

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  • Gary Burton During the 1960s, jazz aficionados came to know Gary Burton—a skinny, longhaired vibraphone sensation who wielded four mallets at a time, spinning out beautiful musical lines in intricate counterpoint at lightning speed.

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  • "Johnny was a fabulous musician in any number of styles, a good drummer, good vibraphone player," Mr. Stoller recalled.

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  • Burton is credited for creating the four-mallet style of playing the vibraphone, and while it just may be the familiarity of that style of play, his depth and tone during the encore were a contrast to Mr. Wolf's more stark and driving play.

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  • Maybe it's the way they blend, but the sound of a guitar alongside his vibraphone always brings out something special.

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  • The latest edition of his Neon band boasts Tim Giles on drums, the terrific vibraphone of Jim Hart, and Mercury prize nominee Kit Downes as pianist.

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