The lithophone is a set of stone slabs of different sizes and shapes fabricated through an elementary technique. These stones are available in the mountainous areas south of Central Vietnam and east of South Vietnam.
Examination of the stone slabs found at Binh Da archaeological site in Dong Nai Province has revealed that this instrument may have existed for over 3,000 years.
At the end of the 1980s, 200 lithophone stone slabs had been discovered in Dak Lak, Khanh Hoa, Dong Nai, Ninh Thuan, Binh Phuoc, Lam Dong, and Phu Yen Provinces. Each set is comprised of between three and 15 bars. The first set, discovered at Ndut Lieng Krak in Dak Lak Province in 1949, is now kept in a French museum. Most of the other sets are exhibited throughout Vietnam.
For some ethnic groups in Tay Nguyen, the stone slabs are sacred and preserved as family treasures played during grand ceremonies for the gods. For others, the stone slabs are used for setting up crop-protection devices.