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Instruments in the Percussion Family

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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.
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    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 hands, and tuned by ropes. Ashiko drums – or variants thereof – are traditionally found in West Africa, as well as part of the Americas....  more
  • 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 than 2000 drummers. They are called Tambouren in Swiss German or Tambourins in French. There is no typical number of players for marching-bands including this instrument. Anything between three and fifty drummers may be seen in such a formation. Drums of the same pattern are used throughout Switzerland in fife and drum societies as well as in Swiss Army bands. They are also known as 'Swiss drums' or 'Ordonance 82'....  more
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    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 types of bass drums can be distinguished. The type usually seen or heard in orchestral, ensemble or concert band music is the orchestral, or concert bass drum. It is the largest drum of the orchestra. The kick drum, struck with a beater attached to a pedal, usually seen on drum kits. The pitched bass drum, generally used in marching bands and drum corps. This is tuned to a specific pitch and is usually played in a set of three to six drums....  more
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    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 striking implement can be a tongue suspended within the bell, known as a clapper or uvula, a separate mallet or hammer, or—in small bells—a small loose sphere enclosed within the body of the bell. Bells are usually made by casting metal, but small bells can also be made from ceramic or glass. Bells range in size from tiny dress accessories to church bells 5 metres tall, weighing many tons. Historically, bells were associated with religious rituals, and before mass communication were widely used to...  more