Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara: Santa Clara University, 2015.


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Sarah Kate Wilson


The vibraphone (sometimes referred to as a vibraharp) is an instrument popular primarily in the jazz community. It is classified in the struck idiophone subfamily of the percussion instruments, meaning that it is struck in such a way that it produces its sound through vibration. The layout of the bars are identical to that of a piano with the natural notes on the lower row and the sharp/flat notes on the higher row. The sound of striking the bars is amplified through resonators underneath each bar, similar to the amplification of an organ. There are also motor driven butterfly valves within these resonators that when turned on can produce a vibrato or tremolo effect. The vibraphone also features a sustain pedal similar to that of a piano. For my project, I designed and assembled an electronic vibraphone. The system works similar to an electric guitar with digital filters. The natural acoustic sound of the vibraphone is converted into an analog electrical signal that is filtered to change the output signal sent to the speakers/amplifier.

SCU Access Only

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