The vibraphone, which was invented in the US in the early 1920s, is simply an electric xylophone. The bars are made of metal, not wood. The resonators house small electric fans which create a vibrating tremolo effect for extending the pitch. Consequently, the xylophone’s clangorous hardness is replaced with a dewy smoothness that allows it to play legato and produce chords.
This instrument consists of wooden bars underpinned by tuned resonators that are laid out like a piano keyboard and can reach a length of four octaves. The basic sound is a hard, scintillating clatter.
The marimba is similar to the xylophone in that it has the same layout of wooden bars with tuned resonators. Physically, the two instruments look almost the same, except that the marimbas have larger resonators and come in long sizes with extended ranges. The other difference is that the marimba is played with softer sticks, giving it a more melodious quality. The marimba can be an attractive solo instrument, as the jazz world discovered.
Triangle – it is a steel rod bent into the shape of an isosceles triangle. One corner of the triangle is left open to keep the instrument from having a specific pitch and to allow it to generate ethereal, scintillating overtones instead. They are the secret of its glitter. When jangled with a metal beater, the triangle raises the energy level.