percussion instrument

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percussion instrument,

any instrument that produces musical sound when its surface is struck with an implement (such as a mallet, stick, or disk) or with the hand. Perhaps the most universally familiar percussion instrument is the drumdrum,
in music, percussion instrument, known in various forms and played throughout the world and throughout history. Essentially a drum is a frame over which one or more membranes or skins are stretched.
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, common to the most primitive as well as the most sophisticated musical arts. Sticks clicked against each other are another simple form of percussion. These are related to castanetscastanets
, percussion instruments known to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, possibly of Middle Eastern origin, now used primarily in Spanish dance music or imitations of it.
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, cymbalscymbals
, percussion instruments of ancient Asian origin. They consist of a pair of slightly concave metal plates which produce a vibrant sound of indeterminate pitch. Known in Europe since the Middle Ages, they were introduced into the European orchestra by Nikolaus Adam
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, and the triangletriangle,
in music, percussion instrument consisting of a steel rod bent into a triangle, open at one angle, and struck with a steel rod. Only since the end of the 18th cent. has it been an orchestral instrument, although it appeared in Europe much earlier.
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. Among the percussion instruments used in the West are the bellbell,
in music, a percussion instrument consisting of a hollow metal vessel, often cup-shaped with an outward-flaring rim, damped at one end and set into vibration by a blow from a clapper within or from a hammer without.
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, the celestacelesta
, keyboard musical instrument patented in 1886 by Auguste Mustel of Paris. It consists of a set of steel bars fastened over wood resonators and struck by hammers operated from the keyboard. The compass is four octaves upward from middle C.
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, the glockenspielglockenspiel
[Ger.,=bell-play], percussion instrument. The medieval glockenspiel was a sort of miniature carillon (see bell), sometimes played mechanically by means of a rotating cylinder with protruding pins. In the 16th cent. it was given a keyboard.
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, the xylophonexylophone
[Gr.,=wood sound], musical instrument having graduated wooden slabs that are struck by the player with small, hard mallets. The slabs are usually arranged like a keyboard, and the range varies from two to four octaves.
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 (and similar marimba), and the Caribbean steel drum. In general, percussion instruments are not tuned by construction; pitch, tone, and volume depend on the skill of the performer.

See also gonggong,
percussion instrument consisting of a disk, usually with upturned edges, 3 ft (91 cm) or more in diameter in the modern orchestra, often made of bronze, and struck with a felt- or leather-covered mallet or drumstick.
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, kettledrumkettledrum,
in music, percussion instrument consisting of a hemispherical metal vessel over which a membrane is stretched, played with soft-headed wooden drumsticks. Of ancient origin, it appeared early in Europe, probably imported from the Middle East by crusaders in the 12th
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, snare drumsnare drum,
small drum having a drumhead at either end. One head is struck with wooden drumsticks, and on the other are stretched several strings, called snares, which cause a rattling against the head. The snare drum was used only in military bands until the 19th cent.
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, tambourinetambourine
, musical instrument of the percussion family, having a narrow circular frame and a single parchment drumhead, with metal plates or jingles set in the frame. The ancient Romans used it, and in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was used by traveling musicians and
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, and tom-tomtom-tom,
name popularly applied to high-pitched hand drums, usually barrel-shaped and having either one or two drumheads of skin. They are tunable to specific pitches. Supposedly of Native American or Asian origin, they are sometimes used in modern dance orchestras for special
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percussion instrument

any of various musical instruments that produce a sound when their resonating surfaces are struck directly, as with a stick or mallet, or by leverage action. They may be of definite pitch (as a kettledrum or xylophone), indefinite pitch (as a gong or rattle), or a mixture of both (as various drums)
References in periodicals archive ?
One doesn't normally hear percussion instruments playing the melody for a Bach or Khairat composition, but Shalaby's vision for the ensemble makes it work.
Throughout the book there are many photographs of instruments, or artworks and artifacts depicting percussion instruments.
It performs a variety of musical pieces from around the world using over 30 percussion instruments.
It touches on almost every aspect of percussion instruments and their history that is important for each young, educated percussionist to know.
Dewi admits that some percussion instruments are in need of a PR makeover.
Jerry Zacarias, above, plays suspended drums while other musical enthusiasts play various percussion instruments.
The new edition contains more information about percussion instruments from around the world, marching percussion and drum sets, musical examples, and further exercises.
Throughout the book, brief yet rich explanations of the histories and sounds of over 50 percussion instruments are paired with breathtaking photographs, making the volume as magical and evocative as it is educational.
This multi-percussionist, whose fame and activities go far beyond the borders of the Czech Lands, talks about how he was drawn into the world of percussion instruments and contemporary classical music, how it became his life, how important it is for a player to be able to create his instrument himself, and how he finds the interpretational key to the pieces he plays, managing to give them the stamp of his own individuality while still faithfully following the composer's score.
Some listeners may be bothered by the addition of various exotic percussion instruments and sound effects, but given the spark, lift and persuasiveness of Jacobs' conducting, the stylish playing of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the engagement of the singers, I suspect most will be prepared to accept it.
Corps vice-chairman Peter Gordon said: "The award is very much welcomed by members as it will allow us to replace old and worn percussion instruments.
Interestingly, all of the works generally considered to be the "highest" forms of music-- the compositions of Bach and Handel, and other great oratorios like Mendelssohn's Elijah, make little if any use of percussion instruments.