A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater (including attached or enclosed beaters or rattles); struck, scraped or rubbed by hand; or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.
The percussion section of an orchestra most commonly contains instruments such as timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle and tambourine. However, the section can also contain non-percussive instruments, such as whistles and sirens, or a blown conch shell. Percussive techniques can also be applied to the human body, as in body percussion.
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments. In the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system, it is a membranophone. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a percussion mallet, to produce sound.
The conga, also known as tumbadora, is a tall, narrow, single-headed drum from Cuba. Congas are staved like barrels and classified into three types: quinto (lead drum, highest), tres dos or tres golpes (middle), and tumba or salidor. Congas were originally used in Afro-Cuban music genres such as conga (hence their name) and rumba, where each drummer would play a single drum.
Maraca, sometimes called rumba shaker, chac-chac, and various other names, is a rattle which appears in many genres of Caribbean and Latin music. It is shaken by a handle, and usually played as part of a pair.
Timpani or kettledrums are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a semispherical drum, they consist of a membrane called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper.
The xylophone is a musical instrument in the percussion family that consists of wooden bars struck by mallets. Each bar is an idiophone tuned to a pitch of a musical scale, whether pentatonic or heptatonic in the case of many African and Asian instruments, diatonic in many western children's instruments, or chromatic for orchestral use.
A cymbal is a common percussion instrument. Often used in pairs, cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note.
A tuning fork is an acoustic resonator in the form of a two-pronged fork with the prongs formed from a U-shaped bar of elastic metal. It resonates at a specific constant pitch when set vibrating by striking it against a surface or with an object, and emits a pure musical tone once the high overtones fade out.
The tambourine is a musical instrument in the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called "zills". Classically the term tambourine denotes an instrument with a drumhead, though some variants may not have a head at all.
A bell is a directly struck idiophone percussion instrument. Most bells have the shape of a hollow cup that when struck vibrates in a single strong strike tone, with its sides forming an efficient resonator.
Castanets, also known as clackers or palillos, are a percussion instrument, used in Spanish, Kalo, Moorish, Ottoman, Italian, Sephardic, Swiss, and Portuguese music. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome there was a similar instrument called crotalum.