Percussion instruments are the most basic, the most ancient and the most important tools to set up the rhythm of the music played in any culture – the human being probably started using drum-like objects to create music in the early times of humanity and percussion instruments are still essential in most musical styles.
Each human culture, even the smallest tribe has its own percussion instruments and the list of these tools can go on almost endlessly, so we will classify percussion instruments based on how identifiable the sound of the instrument is and based on the methods used for the production of sound – here are the most important types.
Pitched and Unpitched Percussion Instruments
This classification categorizes percussion instruments into pitched and unpitched instruments, based on how identifiable the sound is. Pitched instruments, such as the glockenspiel and the timpani make easily recognizable sounds, while unpitched instruments, such as snare drums are used more for maintaining of the music played.
Types of Percussion Instruments Based on the Sounding Method
These types produce sounds by vibrating in their entire body. They are usually made of solid, vibrating material, such as stone, metal or wood and they are sounded by friction, hitting, scraping, shaking, stamping or by the concussion of the two similar parts of the instrument. The category includes many instruments, the most common being triangles, castanets, handbells and vibraphones.
These instruments use a stretched membrane to produce the sound. The most typical examples of membranophones are drums – whether they are sounded with the help of a stick, they are hit with the hand or they are used with the help of a string pulled to pass the vibration to the membrane, they all consist of a hollow body and a stretched material that vibrates.
Most instruments identified as chordophones belong to the category of string instruments, a class that produces sound in ways completely different from what we acknowledge as percussion, but some chordophones, such as the cimbalom, produce sound when their chords are hit with sticks and therefore are categorized as percussions and not as strings.
The Benefits of Playing a Percussion Instrument
The act of playing a percussion instrument is very pleasing and enjoyable for the mind and for the body as well. Drum shop Denver professionals can help you chose the instrument that most appeals to you. Here are just a few benefits that will surely convince you to get a drum set, either for yourself or for your child:
- Physical exercise – playing percussions involves repetitive movements of the arms as well as of the legs and the music will divert your attention from how tiring the activity is;
- Improved motor skills and coordination – when you play percussion instruments, the movements performed with one side of your body can mirror the movements of the other side or they can be completely different. Performing the same movements with your left and your right side can be demanding for the brain and so is playing one rhythm with one hand and a different rhythm with the other hand, so percussion instruments are great for improving coordination;
- Stress relief – playing music has calming effects, no matter what instrument you play and playing a percussion is even more liberating because it is a very dynamic and powerful form of self-expression.