Types Of Percussion Instruments

As of today, anyone who doesn’t have an idea about percussion instruments will be excited to learn about them. The drums used for rock and roll music is one of the most common instruments of the percussion family, but there are other types. The types of percussion instruments available today is what this post will be talking about today.

One fact about drums is people might not know so much about them or even enjoy playing them if they do not offer pleasant sounds. The person playing a percussion instrument doesn’t get as much accolades as the instrument itself, and you should also know that there are so many percussion instruments available on the market today.

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Types Of Percussion Instruments

These instruments can either be wooden, made of metal, or any other material. It might come as a surprise to many people when they find out that percussion instruments have also been used in orchestra music. Another question that comes to mind when percussion instruments are being discussed is how they got the name percussion.

Percussion refers to any instrument that needs to be shaken in generating sounds. Percussion instruments also generate sounds either by hitting or scraping, and intense practice is required for you to scrape, shake, and hit percussion instruments for them to provide you with the sound you need.

This proves that playing percussion instruments isn’t as simple as most people actually think it is, because you need to know the right time and place to shake, hit, and scrape percussion instruments. Percussion instruments are also very easy to tune, and this is why you will reproduce several notes on a percussion instruments.

You will notice what we just said when playing instruments like the xylophone, timpani, and the piano. Interestingly, there are so many untuned percussion instruments that still produce a definite pitch.

You will find this action in instruments like drums, cymbals, and castanets, and adding colors and excitement is what percussion instruments do.

Types Of Percussion Instruments

One more shocker for our readers is a percussion instrument player can play several percussion instruments, and it will also interest you to know that vibrating some part of an instrument might help in producing sounds when playing a percussion instrument. Some percussion instruments are classified according to sounds produced.

There are others on the other hand that can be categorized based on their shape and size. Just like we mentioned earlier, a percussion instrument is going to produce sound when it is agitated. Whistles can be classified as percussion instruments, but this can be done only on occasional basis.

This sort of classification is done not based on a musical theory, but on convenience. So far in this post, I have told you some brief history and introduction about percussion instruments. It is time for you to find out the various percussion instrument types that you will come across either on the internet or on the market.

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Percussion Family Instruments


So many people have argued over the fact that the piano should or should not be a member of the percussion instrument, and trust me when i say many people actually think it shouldn’t be a member of the percussion family. Since the piano is played by hitting keys, people also think it should be included in the percussion family.

The method used when producing sound on a piano is why people consider it as a percussion instrument, and we cannot change the fact that the piano has become strongly rooted in orchestra music regardless of what instrument family it belongs to. Pianos are also tuned musical instruments that ends up playing several notes.

You can also play the piano as a solo instrument, and this is another thing that makes this piano unique.


Another percussion instrument we want to talk about is the Timpani, and people also refer to Timpani as kettledrums. This is yet another tuned instrument that can play different notes, and changing pitch on the timpani requires you to stretch or loosen its drum head. The timpani drum head is attached to a foot pedal.

This instruments is a very important member of the percussion family, and this is based on the fact that they offer rhythm, melody, and harmony. There are about four different sized timpani instruments present in orchestra music, and you have to be very good with your ears when playing this instrument, so you can detect a change in pitch.


The third most popular instrument in the percussion family is the xylophone, and its origin dates back to Africa and Asia. Its Greek name is wood sound, and this instrument is designed to have wooden bars arranged similarly to how keys are arranged on a piano. The mallet is used in playing the xylophone, and you can change pitch using various mallets.

The wooden bars comes with resonators under them, and this is where vibration often takes place. This explains why xylophones have bright sounds, and it will interest you to find out that there are several other instruments like the xylophone in the percussion family.


These are the noisemakers in orchestra music, and they are also top of the list when people talk about percussion instruments. They have a dual metal disc that is made of bronze material, and these discs have different sizes. Lower level sounds are produced by large sized discs, and one fact about cymbals is they bring all of the excitement and fun.

You can play cymbals by hitting two cymbals against each other, and this is the method used in generating sounds when playing cymbals.

Snare Drums

The last instrument we want to talk about is the snare drum, and this drum produces a rattling sound when you hit it. Snare drums is part of the untuned instruments list, but you can count on them to produce distinct sounds. They are a core part of a marching band, making them an integral part of the military music.

You can use a mallet or stick in playing the snare drum, and this ends up producing a top quality sound of its own.

Final Note

These are the top five instruments we want to show you about the percussion instruments, but there are other instruments that belong to this family. We have instruments like the Triangle, Tambourine, Chimes, Marcas, Gong, Celesta, and even the bass drums.

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