Melodic percussion instrument

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Handbells set in performance
Steel drums
Vibraphone and mallets
Asian traditional instrument

A melodic percussion instrument is a percussion instrument used to produce several different notes of different pitches.[1] Melodic percussion instruments are examples of pitched percussion and include mallet percussion and keyboard percussion.

Melodic percussion instruments take one of three main forms:

  • Collections of individual pitched percussion instruments in different pitches, such as hand bells and the angklung.
  • Instruments that produce different pitches when struck in different places, such as the steel drum.[2]
  • Instruments that contain a collection of sounding objects tuned to different notes, such as the xylophone.

Many melodic percussion instruments have resonators, providing a second way of classifying them:

  • Some instruments such as the marimba have an individual resonator for each note.
  • Some instruments such as the hang have a resonator shared by several or all notes.
  • Some instruments such as the glockenspiel have no resonator.

List of percussion instruments that produce musical scales[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blades, James. Percussion Instruments and their History (London: Kahn & Averill, 2006) ISBN 978-0-933224-61-2
  2. ^ retrieved 6 March 2012 the steel drum, a melodic percussion instrument from Trinidad and Tobago