Percussion Instruments

Posted by Padang Cahaya on July 25, 2011

Percussion means striking. All percussion instruments make musical sounds when struck by the hands, by the fingers, or by some suitable implement.

Bells and gongs, bars of wood or metal, and even bowls and thin stones make fine percussion instruments. The orchestras of Eastern people sometimes have a wonderful variety of these and other kinds of percussion instruments, including drums of every size and shape. But in western symphony orchestra percussion instruments are not very numerous. The bowl-shaped kettledrums, or timpani, are almost always present. They give a clear, difinite note and a sonorous tone that can be as soft or as loud as the player wishes. Other types of drums may also be used.

Cymbals are brass plates that are clashed or jangled together. The triangle is a metal rod left open at the corner. The xylophone is a row of wooden bars. The glockenspiel has metal bars that sound ringing and enchanting, It is often played by a keyboard, called a calesta. Only the kettledrums are regular percussion sections of the orchestra in Western music.

Adapted from The Instruments of Music

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