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Percussion instruments are most commonly divided into two classes: Pitched percussion instruments, which produce notes with an identifiable pitch, and unpitched percussion instruments, which produce notes or sounds without an identifiable pitch. Percussion instruments may play not only rhythm, but also melody and harmony. Percussion is commonly referred to as “the backbone” or “the heartbeat” of a musical ensemble, often working in close collaboration with bass instruments, when present. In jazz and other popular music ensembles, the pianist, bassist, drummer and sometimes the guitarist are referred to as the rhythm section.
In almost every style of music, percussion plays a pivotal role. In military marching bands and pipes and drums, it is the beat of the bass drum that keeps the soldiers in step and at a regular speed, and it is the snare that provides that crisp, decisive air to the tune of a regiment. Because of the diversity of percussive instruments, it is not uncommon to find large musical ensembles composed entirely of percussion. Rhythm, melody, and harmony are all represented in these ensembles.
Music for pitched percussion instruments can be notated on a staff with the same treble and bass clefs used by many non-percussive instruments. Percussion instruments are classified by various criteria sometimes depending on their construction, ethnic origin, function within musical theory and orchestration, or their relative prevalence in common knowledge. As a noun in contemporary English it is described in Wiktionary as “the collision of two bodies to produce a sound”. Sachs has no high-level section for percussion. 1 Concussion idiophones or clappers, played in pairs and beaten against each other, such as zills and clapsticks. 21 Struck drums, includes most types of drum, such as the timpani, snare drum, and tom-tom. Keyboard instruments such as the celesta and piano.
Stringed instruments played with beaters such as the hammered dulcimer. Unpitched whistles and similar instruments, such as the pea whistle and Acme siren. Percussion instruments are sometimes classified as “pitched” or “unpitched”. While valid, this classification is widely seen as inadequate. Many texts, including Teaching Percussion by Gary Cook of the University of Arizona, begin by studying the physical characteristics of instruments and the methods by which they can produce sound. This is perhaps the most scientifically pleasing assignment of nomenclature whereas the other paradigms are more dependent on historical or social circumstances.
Idiophones produce sounds through the vibration of their entire body. Most objects commonly known as “drums” are membranophones. Membranophones produce sound when the membrane or head is struck with a hand, mallet, stick, beater, or improvised tool. Most instruments known as “chordophones” are defined as string instruments, but some such as these examples are percussion instruments also. Most instruments known as “aerophones” are defined as wind instruments such as a saxophone whereby sound is produced by a person or thing blowing air through the object. In a traditional ensemble setting, aerophones are played by a percussionist, generally due to the instrument’s unconventional nature.
Aerophones are played by a percussionist, wikimedia Commons has media related to Percussion instruments. Note however that percussion instruments such as the xylophone, or their relative prevalence in common knowledge. 21 Struck drums, drummer: someone who plays the drumset, idiophones produce sounds through the vibration of their entire body. Percussion is commonly referred to as “the backbone” or “the heartbeat” of a musical ensemble, when classifying instruments by function it is useful to note if a percussion instrument makes a definite pitch or indefinite pitch.