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The Percussion Portal


Percussion is a group of musical instruments classified by being hit, shaken, scraped, rubbed, or manipulated by virtually any other means in order to produce vibration. It is an extremely wide range of instruments, encompassing multiple cultures and time periods.

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A drum set (also drum kit or trap set) is a collection of drums, cymbals and sometimes other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person (drummer.)

The term "drum set" seems to have come from Great Britain. It was first created in the 1700s. In the U.S., the terms "drum set", and "trap set" were more prevalent historically.

The individual instruments of a drum set are struck by a variety of implements held in the hand, including sticks, brushes, and mallets. Two notable exceptions include the bass drum, played by a foot-operated pedal, and the hi hat cymbals, which may be struck together using a foot pedal in addition to being played with sticks or brushes. Although other instruments can be played using a pedal, the feet are usually occupied by the bass drum and hi hat. Percussion notation is often used by drummers to signify which drum set components are to be played. A full size drum set without all the extras has a bass drum, floor tom, snare drum, tom-toms, hi-hat cymbals, a ride cymbal and a crash cymbal.


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A pair of Latin Percussion conga drums.

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A percussion instrument can be any object which produces a sound by being hit with an implement, shaken, rubbed, scraped, or by any other action which sets the object into vibration. The term usually applies to an object used in a rhythmic context or with musical intent.

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The 6/8 clave, common in African and Cuban music

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