In this work, the nonlinear vibration of a cantilever beam with end mass subjected to both static and alternating transverse magnetic field has been studied. The governing temporal equation of motion of the system which contains nonlinearities of geometric and inertial type along with parametric excitation and non-linear damping terms due to the body force and couple generated by the magnetic field has been derived. Method of multiple scales (MMS) is used to determine the instability region and frequency response curves of the system. The influences of the damping, amplitude of static and dynamic magnetic field strength, and tip mass on the instability regions and frequency response curves for simple and principal parametric resonance conditions have been investigated. These results are found to be in good agreement with those obtained by numerically solving the temporal equation of motion. © The Author(s) 2010.