What Is Percussion Instruments?
What Is Percussion Instruments? Percussion Instruments are those instruments that need to be hit, scraped, or shaken for producing musical sounds.
Drums, tambourines, triangles, cymbals, castanets, and xylophones are some that come under this category. They are one of the earliest tools developed by humans for music production.
These Instruments create an array of special sounds that add depth and texture to musical pieces. Further, their versatility makes them special.
Sounds produced by percussion are soothing to the ears. Listening to them can boost our mood and heal our soul.
Meanwhile, their cultural significance among different communities of people across the globe can not be overrated. Almost every instrument of the percussion family is associated with a certain culture, tradition, and religion.
All in all, they are historical pieces used in musical compositions for ages. With advancements in technology, percussion instruments are also evolving.
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Percussion Instruments List With Pictures
Percussion Instruments list includes Ashiko, Damphu, Claves, and Mark tree among many others. Every country has its unique instrument.
Let's take a look at the varieties of tools that originated in different parts of the world:
|Percussion Instruments List||Origin Country|
|Mark Tree||United States|
|Tbilat||Morocco, Saudi Arabia|
Ashiko is a type of drum, cylindrical in shape and tapered towards the end. Developed by Yoruba, Ashiko is played by hand although ropes are used to produce tunes.
Another percussion instrument on the list is the Damphu, a traditional drum of the Tamang community of Nepal.
Claves are an integral part of Afro-Cuban music. They are simple and easy to use as there are only two small wooden sticks.
Mark Tree is the native percussion of America. It has several other names such as chime tree, nail tree, and bar chimes.
Next on our list is the Rakatak. It is extensively used by the people of Ghana in African music.
It is boat shaped musical tool made up of 21 wooden bars. These bars are attached by cords and kept in suspension.
Shime-daiko is popular among the Japanese people. What makes it special is the use of animal skin on drumheads.
The use of Tambora is mostly seen in the Dominican Republic. Back in the day, salvaged rum barrels were utilized for their construction.
Tbilat originally comes from the Kingdom of Morocco. Basically, two pottery drums complete Tbilat. They are pretty to look at as they are well-decorated.
Tombak has a goblet-shaped body, with a single large head. For building Tombak, a single block of wood is enough. However, it is not so easy to carve complex geometrical patterns on its shell.
Percussion Instruments Starting With V
Percussion instruments starting with V are:
- Vichitra Veena
The use of vibraphone traces back to the earliest years of the 20th century. 2 mallets are applied to strike the neatly arranged metal bars of the vibraphone and produce musical notes.
Vibraslap is made up of a wooden ball, stiff wire, and a hollow wooden box. The credit for its origin goes to Martin Cohen as he build the first vibraslap in 1967.
Metal Percussion Instruments
Metal percussion instruments are 1. Cymbal 2. Agogô 3. Geger 4. Cowbell and more. Here is a list of other percussion instruments made with metal:
- Monkey stick
- Tubular bells
One of the most common musical tools is Cymbal. It entails two metal plates that are struck together to generate sound.
Its uses can be seen in various genres of music like jazz, heavy metal, orchestra, marching groups, and orchestra besides percussion ensembles.
Agogô is a traditional percussion instrument consisting of 2 bells that are attached to a handle.
A wooden stick can be used to strike the metallic part and generate musical sounds. It originated from the Yoruba community of West Africa and remains one of the oldest samba instruments.
Hand Percussion Instruments
Hand percussion instruments are Shakers, Triangles, and Scrapers among others. These are the tools that can be played by holding in hand.
Either wooden, plastic, or metal material can be used in their manufacture. They are listed below:
- Small drums
Those instruments that produce sound when shaken fall into this category. Their application is visible in rock music.
Shakers are filled with different times such as beans, or any other object that makes sound on collision.
Under shakers, musical instruments like caxixi, shekere, and tambourines are included.
By bending a thick piece of metal, the triangle is constructed. Like its name, it has 3 sides and belongs to the idiophone classification.
Metals such as iron, steel, brass, bronze, aluminum, and beryllium copper can be used for its manufacture. Its strong presence can be felt in South American music.
Types Of Percussion Instruments
Pitched and Unpitched percussion instruments are two types of percussion instruments in common understanding. The category is based on the pitch they produce.
Pitched percussion instruments are recognized for their ability to bring out notes that have a distinct pitch. On the contrary, the Unpitched percussion instruments can not be tuned to produce an identifiable pitch.
Pitched Percussion Instrument
Some pitched (tuned) percussion instruments are highlighted as follows:
- Tubular bells
- Glass harmonica
Unpitched Percussion Instrument
The unpitched percussion instrument, also labeled as untuned are listed below:
- Snare Drum
- Bass Drum
Pitched Percussion Instruments
Pitched percussion instruments like Marimba, Mridangam Tabla, and Xylophone produce a distinct note. There are two ways in which pitching can be achieved.
Under Membranophones, the pitch can be obtained by creating variation in the surface tension of the face of the instrument that is struck. For example Timpani
Idiophones bring variation in the physical attributes of the instrument to produce pitch. The physical dimension, density, and composition of each bar are varied to create the desired note. For example Crotales
Percussion Instruments In The Orchestra
Percussion instruments in the orchestra comprise Xylophone, Timpani, Snare Drum, and a few others. Such instruments are played in an orchestral setting.
These are some of the musical tools used in orchestral percussion:
- Bass Drum
The xylophone is one of the popular percussion instruments used in an orchestra. It can be spotted at the back of the orchestra along with kettledrums.
Wooden bars or keys are arranged like that of the piano keyboard and mallets are used to strike the keys for sound production. Countries like Ghana, Uganda, and Zambia are remembered for the origin of xylophones.
Tuned Percussion Instruments
Tuned percussion instruments are Angklung, Cup chime, Celesta, Chime Bar, and Hand chime among a few others. These are capable of producing pitched notes.
Here is a list of percussion instruments that can be tuned:
- Steel pan
- Tubular bells
- Tubular bells
Angklung was made famous by the Indonesian people. It is a type of percussion instrument created by joining several bamboo tubes to a bamboo frame.
When the tubes are struck, they hit the octave. To use this, one needs to hold the base of the frame with one hand, and another hand is used to shake it so that a repetitive note can be achieved.
Percussion Instruments Examples
Percussion instruments examples are Timpani, Xylophone, Drums, Cymbals, and so on. Study reports there are more than 300 instruments in the percussion family.
Some other examples of these percussion instruments are:
- Alligator drum
What Does Percussion Mean?
Percussion means musical instruments that can be played by hitting their surface with an external force. Wooden sticks or hands both can be used.
In 1976, the word percussion was used for the first time. 'Percussion' was derived from the Latin word 'percussionem' which translates to 'a striking, a blow'.
It can also be understood as the act of playing music that encompasses various instruments like drums, cymbals, tambourines, or bells among others.
Simply, all sorts of instruments that need to be hit, shaken, or scraped are included in the percussion family. Meanwhile, the material of these tools are also diverse and can vary from wood, and plastic to metal.
Some instruments of the percussion family are able to create a high pitch and play different notes. And another set of tools can produce only one pitch.
Hence, these are extremely popular for the diverse sounds they can generate. That is why, from jazz, and classical to rock and roll, percussion is used everywhere. There is variation in sizes and shapes as well.
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