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Vibraphone

Källa wikipedia

The vibraphone, sometimes called the vibraharp or simply the vibes, is a musical instrument in the percussion family. It is similar in appearance to the xylophone, although the vibraphone uses metal bars insteadof the wooden bars on the xylophone.  

History

The vibraphone was invented in the United States in 1921. It has a long history as a jazz instrument. However, the vibraphone has since been used in many other musical idioms, including popular music as well as classical and symphonic music.

Range

The standard modern instrument has a range of three octaves, from the F below middle C. Larger four octave models from the C below middle C are also becoming more common. 

Construction

The vibraphone is commonly played with cord or yarn mallets. Below each bar is a resonator, a resonant metal tube, with a metal disc of a slightly smaller diameter located at the top. The discs in each tube are connected via a rod which can be made to rotate with an electric motor. When the motor is on and a note is struck, the notes acquire a tremolo sound as the resonators are covered and uncovered by the rotating discs. The player can vary the speed of the tremolo. At slower speeds, the effect sounds more like a "wah-wah-wah." At faster speeds, the tremolo is more pronounced. With the motor switched off the vibraphone has a mellow, bell-like sound.

While the instrument's name comes from "vibrato", this is actually a misnomer, since the effect is actually tremolo, not vibrato (vibrato being a modulation in pitch, not amplitude). In any case, the tremolo sound is now perceived as dated, and many modern vibraphonists eschew the effect altogether.

The vibraphone also has a sustain pedal similar to that used on a piano. When the pedal is up, the bars are all damped and the sound of each bar is quite short; with the pedal down, they will sound for several seconds, so frequent rapid pedalling is common when playing a vibraphone.  

Technique

As with the xylophone, early vibraphonists such as Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson used two mallets to play the instrument. The instrument was primarily featured as solo instrument and contributed little to harmonic accompaniment. Modern vibraphonists use four mallets and the instrument has joined the modern jazz rhythm section as an accompaniment instrument. Often the vibes can substitute for a guitarist or pianist in this respect.

                                    

 

                                       

Här min vibra inköpt i mitten av 70-talet. Ett engelskt instrument av fabrikat Premier.

Var som mest aktiv på instrumentet under 80 talet. Numera blir det ytterst sporadiskt.

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