Percussion is an instrument that is either struck or scraped using hands and beaters etc. Percussion is split between two styles, tuned percussion which usually has a skin that can be tightened or loosened to create an identified pitch and un-tuned percussion which is a raw sound when struck. Here is a list of an example of percussion instruments:


Drum Kits

A drum kit is a mix of different size drums and cymbals. Generally made up of 5 pieces, they are often expanded and played by 1 person sat behind the kit. They are most common in bands and ensembles.

  • Full Size Drum Kits
  • Junior Drum Kits
  • Electric Drum Kits

Orchestral Percussion

Orchestral percussion is made up of a varied amount of instruments. Played in styles such as concert bands and classical music, a large part of being an orchestral percussionist is to get the texture and pitch of the instruments perfect.

  • Timpani
  • Tubed Percussion
  • Glockenspiels
  • Xylophones
  • Marimba
  • Vibraphone

Marching Percussion

Marching Percussion is designed to be played whilst moving. They are worn using straps to support them and tuned to a high pitch for a perfect clean tone. Marching percussionists are often referred to as the battery.

  • Snare Drum
  • Bass Drum
  • Tenor Drum
  • Marching Cymbals

African Percussion

African drums are made from raw materials and provide a spoken language in the Western Africa culture. It dates back to the 13th century and was used in African tribes proving a fast rhythm to communicate.

  • Djembe
  • Ghana Bell
  • Balaphon
  • Shekere
  • Kalimba
  • Caxixi
  • Doum Doum
  • Afuche
  • Talking Drum
  • Slit Drum
  • Kpanlogo Drum

Caribbean Percussion

Caribbean percussion is widely adapted by African and European percussion. The most popular instrument originated in Trinidad and Tobago is the Steel Pan.

  • Steel Pan
  • Maraca

Indian and Middle East Percussion

Indian and Middle East Percussion are referred to as the category membranophone. A lot of the percussion is hand played and is known to be one of the most rhythmic forms of drumming.

  • Tabla Drums
  • Dholak
  • Tibetan Singing Bowl
  • Doumbek
  • Bhangra
  • Mridangam
  • Ghatam
  • Kanjira

Irish Percussion

Irish percussion, sometimes referred to as Celtic percussion, is mostly known for its Bodhran Drum.

  • Bodhran Drum
  • Celtic Bones
  • The Spoons

Latin Percussion

Latin Percussion is part of the wide range of musical styles used in Latin Music. It is influenced by African tribal music. It is well known for its very energetic and creative styles.

  • Congas
  • Timbales
  • Bongos
  • Cajon
  • Guiro

Samba Percussion

Samba percussion is loud and consists of a lot of drums and smaller percussion instruments. Another percussion instrument that is designed for walking, they are popular in large carnivals attracting lots of listeners.

  • Surdo
  • Caixa
  • Repinique
  • Tamborim
  • Ganza
  • Agogo
  • Reco-Reco
  • Chocalho de Platinela

Hand Held Percussion

Hand Held percussion is extremely popular amongst schools and group work. They are instruments that are specifically designed to be played by either shaking or striking them and small enough to hold.

  • Bells
  • Castanets
  • Chime Bars
  • Triangles
  • Claves
  • Tambourines
  • Woodblocks
  • Percussion Sound Effects
  • Cymbals
  • Tambourines

If you need any more information on the percussion then please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help and answer any queries you have. You can get to me on 01283 535 333 option 1, or email to sales@normans.co.uk.

About the author

Lizzie joined Normans after graduating from university in Popular Music with Music Technology. She has been playing the drums for most of her life and gained a great insight into both the technical and live aspects of them. As well as the drums, Lizzie loves to play guitar and will have a go at any instrument she can get her hands on!




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