This paper deals with the dynamical analysis of a cantilevered Bernoulli-Euler beam subjected to distributed external viscous damping in-span and with a viscous end condition by a single damper. In order to evaluate the vibration characteristics of the system, a procedure is presented where overdamped and underdamped ''modes'' are investigated simultaneously, via the dynamic stiffness matrix of the system. Further, the orthogonality conditions, which allow the decoupling of the equations of motion in terms of principal coordinates, are derived. Then, the complex frequency response function is obtained through a formula which was established for the receptance matrix previously. Finally, the dynamic impulse response function of the system is evaluated in the time domain. Comparison with the numerical results obtained via a boundary value formulation justifies the approaches used here. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.