instrument manufactured in limited quantities by LP
in the late 1990's.
The vibratone was a solid color (usually black), cylindrical, hollow, and 12 inches in length. The top of the vibratone was divided like a tuning fork
. A muting hole (thumb-sized) could be found a quarter of the way up from the rubber-footed bottom. A playing mallet
(a length of rattan-like plastic with a black-rubber hammer) came with the instrument.
The musical responsiveness of the vibratone was not unlike that of a tuning fork or vibraphone
bar. With your thumb over the mute hole you struck the vibratone in a legato
manner, and then slowly removed your thumb. The volume
would gradually increase or decrease in accordance with your thumb's position on the hole. You could swirl your thumb in circles to make the sound rapidly change volume and intensity
Like the triangle
, the vibratone's sound was built on the harmonic series, which means that if played correctly it will be in tune with anything going on in the orchestra