Music

Instruments in the Percussion Family

Reference
278.1k views 50 items

Check out this list of all the most popular musical instruments in the percussion family. Any well-known instrument in the percussion instruments instruments family is included, along with photos when available. List contains items like the ashiko and the triangle.

Those unfamiliar with music may ask, what are percussion instruments? One of the most important instruments in rock 'n' roll: the drum set belongs to the percussion family. Without the foundation of sound that the drums provide for a particular rock song, music as we know it today would cease to exist.  

Despite the importance of the percussionist, more famous instruments often get the glory while drummers, much like offensive linemen in pro football, pave the way for the music to come together in the glorious manner it does. But think about it, legendary rock bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who would not be extraordinary, without their mighty drummers, John Bonham and Keith Moon.

From wooden percussion instruments to types of percussion music made with other materials like metal, you'll find examples of every type (large and small) on this list.
1
Ashiko is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum

The ashiko is a drum, shaped like a tapered cylinder with the head on the wide end, and the narrow end open. It is made of hardwood and generally has a goatskin hide. It is played with the ...more
2
Basler drum is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum

The Basler drum is a two-headed rope-tension drum. It takes its name from its origin in Basel. This percussion instrument is best known from the Carnival of Basel, where it is played by more ...more
3
Bass drum is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum, Classical percussion

A bass drum is a large drum that produces a note of low definite or indefinite pitch. Bass drums are percussion instruments and vary in size and are used in several musical genres. Three major ...more
4
Bell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion

A bell is a simple sound-making device. The bell is a percussion instrument and an idiophone. Its form is usually a hollow, cup-shaped acoustic resonator, which vibrates upon being struck. The ...more
5
Bongo drum is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum, Classical percussion

Bongos are an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument consisting of a pair of small open bottomed drums of different sizes. In Spanish the larger drum is called the hembra and the smaller the macho. ...more
6
Castanet is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Classical percussion

Castanets are a percussion instrument, used in Kalo, Moorish, Ottoman, ancient Roman, Italian, Spanish, Sephardic, Swiss, and Portuguese music. The instrument consists of a pair of concave ...more
7
Celesta is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Keyboard, Percussion

The celesta or celeste is a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard. It looks similar to an upright piano, or a large wooden music box. The keys connect to hammers that strike a graduated set of ...more
8
Claves is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Classical percussion

Claves are a percussion instrument, consisting of a pair of short, thick dowels. Traditionally they are made of wood, typically rosewood, ebony or grenadilla. In modern times they are also made ...more
9
Conga is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum, Classical percussion

The conga, also known as tumbadora, is a tall, narrow, single-headed drum from Cuba. Congas are staved like barrels and classified into three types: quinto, tres dos or tres golpes, and tumba or ...more
10
Cymbal is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Crotales, Crash cymbal, Zill

Family: Percussion, Classical percussion

Cymbals are a common percussion instrument. Cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys; see cymbal making for a discussion of their manufacture. The majority of cymbals are ...more
11
Dabakan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum

The dabakan is a single-headed Philippine drum, primarily used as a supportive instrument in the kulintang ensemble. Among the five main kulintang instruments, it is the only non-gong element of ...more
12
Djembe is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum

A djembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying ...more
13
Drum is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Drums, Conga, Tabla

Family: Percussion

The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments. In the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system, it is a membranophone. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a ...more
14
Drums is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum

A drum kit, drum set or trap set is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments set up to be played/struck by a single player. The traditional drum kit consists of a mix of drums and ...more
15
Electronic drum is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion

An electronic drum is an electrical device struck by a drummer, played in real time to produce a selection of sounds, instruments and effects, from either samples or modeled sounds contained in ...more
16
Flexatone is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion

The flexatone is a modern percussion instrument consisting of a small flexible metal sheet suspended in a wire frame ending in a handle. Used in classic cartoons for its glissando effect, its ...more
17
Ganza is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion

The ganzá is a Brazilian rattle used as a percussion instrument, especially in samba music. The ganzá is cylindrically shaped, and can be either a hand-woven basket or a metal ...more
18
Gong is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Classical percussion

A gong is an African, East and South East Asian musical percussion instrument that takes the form of a flat, circular metal disc which is hit with a mallet. It originated in China and later ...more
19
Gong bass drum is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum

A gong bass drum is a musical instrument in the percussion family. It is a type of drum which uses a single large drumhead in order to create a loud, resonant sound when struck. The head can be ...more
20
Güiro is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Classical percussion

The güiro is a Latin-American percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side. It is played by rubbing a stick or tines along the ...more
21
Hand drum is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Drum

A hand drum is any type of drum that is typically played with the bare hand rather than a stick, mallet, hammer, or other type of beater. The simplest type of hand drum is the frame drum, which ...more
22
Hi-hat is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Cymbal

A hi-hat, also spelled hihat, is a type of cymbal and stand used as a typical part of a drum kit by percussionists in rhythm and blues, hip-hop, disco, jazz, metal, rock and roll, house, reggae ...more
23
Long drum is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion

Long drums are a loose category of tubular membranophones, characterized by their extreme length. They are most common in Africa, Thailand, and in Native American traditions. Long drums can be ...more
24
Maracas is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion, Classical percussion

Maracas, sometimes called rumba shakers and various other names, are percussion musical instruments—rattles—that originated in Latin America. They are classified as idiophones. Players hold them ...more
25
Marching percussion is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family

Family: Percussion

Marching percussion instruments are specially designed to be played while moving. This is achieved by attaching the drum to a special harness worn by the drummer, although not all marching bands ...more