Percussion Instruments

Percussion instruments gives dhythmic support and dramatic effect to any piece of music. These instruments are categorized into two types; tuned and untuned percussions instruments.

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The bass drum is a percussion instrument and is the lowest and largest member of the drum family. Bass drums are used in orchestral music as well as marching bands. More »
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Bells can be made from various materials including clay, glass or metal. It also ranges in shape and size. It may be played by lightly shaking it as in hand bells or by striking it using a metal or wooden striker or mallet.

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Bongo Drum

Another type of drum that is mostly used in world music is the bongo drum. Bongos are played by striking the fingertips and/or the heel of the hand on the drumhead.
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For some reason I think of chestnuts when I hear the word castanets. True enough the word castanet was derived from the Spanish word castana meaning chestnuts. Castanets belong to the clapper family of percussion instruments.
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Conga Drum

A conga drum is another type of percussion instrument belonging to the drum family. It is shaped somewhat like a barrel and is played the same way as the bongo drum. Conga also refers to a form of dance of Afro-Cuban origin. A perfect example is the song "Conga" by Gloria Estefan.
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The player holds the strap attached to each cymbal and brushes it against each other or clash it together. It can either be held horizontally or vertically and played either loudly or softly depending on the music.

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Glockenspiels have tuned steel bars or tubes which are struck by the musician using two beaters. The beaters may be made from metal, wood or rubber.

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Remember that show on NBC during the 70's hosted by Chuck Barris? It was called "The Gong Show" and it's an amateur talent show where the gong was sounded to signal that a contestant was eliminated. Read more about the gong.
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The maracas is one of the easiest musical instruments to play; you just need to have a sense of rhythm, timing and a flair for shaking. Maracas are made in various materials including plastic and wood and it ranges from the very simple to the most intricate designs. More »
Generally, metallophones differ from xylophones because the tuned bars which are struck with a mallet are made of metal, hence the name metallophones. There are many different kinds of metallophones; here we will focus on those which are used by Indonesian gamelan orchestras. More »
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Musical Box

I've always been fascinated with musical boxes even as a child. I remember getting one for my birthday, and after marvelling at its beauty, proceeded to dismantle it to see what's inside. Nowadays, musical boxes still make great gift ideas; there are some which are considered collector's items and are worth a lot of money.
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Snare Drum

The snare drum is another percussion instrument mostly used nowadays for pop and modern orchestral music. Snare drums have a cylindrical shape and can be played either by hand or with the use of sticks.
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Steel drums are usually used in steel bands or ensembles made up 4 to 100 performers. The musician uses rubber-tipped hammers to strike the drum. More »
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The tambourine is a small frame drum also belonging to the percussion family. Today, the tambourine is widely used in the folk music of the Middle East as well as an accompaniment for the Quoran.
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The timpani is also known as orchestral kettledrums and belongs to the percussion family. It's quite fascinating to watch timpanists perform, especially when they do those fast rolls.
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If you're a parent of a young child and want to introduce your child to musical instruments, you can never go wrong with the triangle. Very easy to play and yet so beautiful sounding, the triangle gives any music piece a special touch.
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Another percussion instrument that will help introduce young children to the wonders of music is the xylophone. Xylophones are no doubt fun to play and the sound it produces is pleasing to the ears. Lots of colorful toy xylophones are available in the market today. If your child develops a liking to this instrument and wants to seriously learn how to play it, he/she can move on to xylophones made of hardwood or bamboo.