Music 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.

1
Ashiko is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
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
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
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
Bell 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
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
Castanet 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
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
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
Conga 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 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
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
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
Drum Drums, Conga, Tabla 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
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
Electronic drum 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
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
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
Gong 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
Gong bass 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
Güiro 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
Hand 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
Hi-hat 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
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
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
Marching 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

26
Marimba is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
The marimba is a percussion instrument consisting of a set of wooden bars struck with mallets to produce musical tones. Resonators attached to the bars amplify their sound. The bars are arranged ...more

27
Metallophone is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Metallophone Step bell, Kulintang a Tiniok A metallophone is any musical instrument consisting of tuned metal bars which are struck to make sound, usually with a mallet. Metallophones have been used in music in Asia for thousands of ...more

28
Other percussion is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Other percussion Handclaps, Tibetan water drum, Rattle

29
Pandeiro is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Pandeiro The Pandeiro is a type of hand frame drum popular in Brazil, and which has been described as an unofficial instrument of that nation. The drumhead is tunable, and the rim holds metal jingles, ...more

30
Rainstick is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Rainstick A rainstick is a long, hollow tube partially filled with small pebbles or beans that has small pins or thorns arranged helically on its inside surface. When the stick is upended, the pebbles ...more

31
Ratchet is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Ratchet A ratchet, also called a noisemaker, is an orchestral musical instrument played by percussionists. Operating on the principle of the ratchet device, a gearwheel and a stiff board is mounted on a ...more

32
Shaker is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Shaker The word shaker describes a large number of percussive musical instruments used for creating rhythm in music. They are called shaker because the method of creating the sound involves shaking ...more

33
Silimba is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Silimba

34
Snare drum is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Tabor The snare drum or side drum is a well known percussion instrument that is popular for a variety of uses. Some of these uses include orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, parades, drumlines, ...more

35
Steelpan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Steelpan Steelpans is a musical instrument originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Steel pan musicians are called pannists.

36
Tabla is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
The tabla Punjabi: ਤਬਲਾ, Hindi: तबला, Bengali: তবলা, Tamil: தபலா, Sinhala: තබලා is a membranophone percussion instrument which is often used in Hindustani classical music and in traditional ...more

37
Tambourine is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Tambourine The tambourine is a musical instrument in the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called "zils". Classically the term ...more

38
Temple block is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Temple block The temple block is a percussion instrument originating in China, Japan and Korea where it is used in religious ceremonies. It is a carved hollow wooden instrument with a large slit. In its ...more

39
Tenor drum is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Tenor drum A tenor drum is a cylindrical drum that is higher pitched than a bass drum. In a symphony orchestra's percussion section, a tenor drum is a low-pitched drum, similar in size to a field snare, ...more

40
Thon-rammana is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Thon-rammana The thon and rammana and the rammana, a small frame drum. They are used usually in the khruang sai ensemble. The thon gives a low pitch and the rammana gives a high pitch. Earlier in the 20th ...more

41
Timbales is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Timbales Timbales or pailas are shallow single-headed drums with metal casing. They are shallower than single-headed tom-toms, and usually tuned much higher. The player uses a variety of stick strokes, ...more

42
Timpani is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Timpani, or kettledrums, are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum, they consist of a skin called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. They are ...more

43
Tom-tom drum is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
A tom-tom drum is a cylindrical drum with no snares. The name came originally from the Anglo-Indian and Sinhala. The tom-tom drum was added to the drum kit in the early part of the 20th century. ...more

44
Tonbak is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Tonbak The Tompak, also tombak, donbak, dombak or zarb is a goblet drum from Persia. It is considered the principal percussion instrument of Persian music. The tonbak is normally positioned diagonally ...more

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Triangle is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Triangle The triangle is an idiophone type of musical instrument in the percussion family. It is a bar of metal, usually steel but sometimes other metals like beryllium copper, bent into a triangle ...more

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Tubular bell is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Tubular bell Tubular bells are musical instruments in the percussion family. Each bell is a metal tube, 30–38 mm in diameter, tuned by altering its length. Its standard range is from C4-F5, though many ...more

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Tuned Percussion is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Tuned Percussion Glockenspiel, Whistle, Xylophone A pitched percussion instrument is a percussion instrument used to produce musical notes of one or more pitches, as opposed to an unpitched percussion instrument which is used to produce sounds ...more

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Wood block is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
A wood block is a small, two-toned slit drum made from a single piece of wood and used as a percussion instrument. The term generally signifies the Western orchestral instrument, though it is ...more

49
Xylophone is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Calung, Gandingan a Kayo, Balafon The xylophone is a musical instrument in the percussion family that consists of wooden bars struck by mallets. Each bar is an idiophone tuned to a pitch of a musical scale, whether pentatonic or ...more

50
Zendrum is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Instruments in the Percussion Family
Zendrum Drumitar A Zendrum is a hand-crafted MIDI controller that is used as a percussion instrument. The Zendrum was influenced by the "Drumitar," invented by Future Man. There are several Zendrum ...more