In common with many other percussion instruments which are capable of playing melodies, the notes of a vibraphone are laid out in a standard keyboard format. Close in design to xylophones or marimbas which also have this layout, vibraphones are stuck with mallets, either in pairs or in fours, with two in each hand of the player. Unlike many percussion instruments, such as drums, vibraphones have a motor which operates a resonating tube. This gives the instrument a good deal of flexibility with the sound produced when played, enabling the musician to adjust and control the amount of tremolo and vibrato. For many, this is why the vibraphone has been a long-standing favourite of jazz musicians as well as classical ones. Used in both orchestras and jazz bands, the instrument also possesses a sustain pedal which operates in a similar manner to those found on pianos. Traders in percussion instruments can find out about current product suppliers and their specialist areas at productpilot.com.
Manufactured since the 1920s, there are many vibraphones which are currently in production around the world as well as being a significant trade in second hand and vintage instruments. Those associated with the earliest days of the instrument, such as ones used on the early recordings of Louis Armstrong, are much in demand. Most vibraphone manufacturer produce instruments which will cover an entire three octave range, although certain models and some bespoke vibraphones differs from this standard. In general, the lowest note found on a vibraphone corresponds to the note of F immediately below middle C. The instruments are large and normally come with a purpose built metal frame on which they can be transported and played.
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