Percussion instrument

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A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is stimulated to vibrate by striking it and thus produces a tone of mostly short duration with a certain or indefinite pitch or a noise . The group of percussion instruments that are not in accordance with the present-day system of musical instruments , so but only on the nature of the expended by the player energy of impact movement executed classified will include Idiophone (self Klinger) and membranophones (fur Klinger) in which taut toner Reger membrane are. Frame drums with a ring wreath like the tambourine are both a membranophone and an idiophone. Before this current distinction, percussion instruments formed one of the three old categories, alongside string instruments and wind instruments .

The noisy instruments are mainly used as rhythm instruments, those that can also produce pitches (such as glockenspiel , xylophone , vibraphone , celesta , piano ) are also used musically as melody or harmony instruments.

The number of materials and shapes with which noises or tones can be produced is almost endless and sound production is as old as humanity, since clapping hands can be used as drums. The list of percussion instruments shows typical examples, with drums , timpani and drums often being referred to as the main rhythmic instruments.

The pitch and timbre of drums can be varied by changing the membrane tension. A distinction is made between percussion instruments with a definable pitch such as timpani , xylophones and vibraphones and those that generate a less definable sound spectrum (noise) such as snare drums , cymbals , gong and castanets . Due to the way the sound is generated (struck), the piano can also be counted as a percussion instrument. The Indian tabla produces both melodic and non-melodic sounds. For different music, different percussion instruments are put together in a group, which is often given its own name.


Standard drum kit

The drums are a combination of different percussion instruments. The standard structure consists of five different drums and three cymbals, which are played with different types of sticks, jazz brooms or felt sticks and pedals while sitting.

Various configurations of the drums can be found in the various musical styles. While smaller drums are mostly used in jazz , in rock and pop music , through which the drum set became very famous, you often find larger sets, also with two bass drums ( double bass ), with a correspondingly larger range of drums, cymbals and percussion elements .


Percussion is a very broad term for smaller percussion instruments, which also includes the indirectly struck rattles . Occasionally - based on the more comprehensive English and French term percussion - percussion instruments are generally referred to as percussion. Well-known percussion instruments are bells , tubular bells , washboards , maracas , eggshakers , shakers , conga , cowbells and claves , which mostly come from the African or (as Latin American rhythm instruments ) the South American area.

In addition, percussion also includes some non-percussion instruments such as B. the whistle in samba .

Even if playing percussion instruments sometimes looks very easy, most of them require a sophisticated technique in order to develop the full sound. Nevertheless, almost all instrument manufacturers do not see small percussion instruments in particular as fully-fledged instruments, as they are not bought that often and, compared to larger rhythm instruments ( surdo , congas), etc., there is not much money to be made with them . As a result, even well-known manufacturers often sell instruments of inferior quality in the small percussion area.


Under percussion refers to the in orchestral percussion instruments used. The timpani , bass drum , snare drum and cymbals as well as the triangle are known .

Stick games

Stick games , also called mallet instruments (from English mallet , "mallet") are idiophonic , multi-tone, tuned serve . They are played with up to four mallets with a core made of cork , wood , metal or plastic , some of which are wrapped with thread. The pitch range of larger instruments is close to that of the piano, and the arrangement of the plates looks like a keyboard . The stick plays are often used in orchestras as solo or accompanying parts.


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