A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater, they are believed to be the oldest musical instruments. The most common percussion instruments in the orchestra include the timpani, xylophone, cymbals, triangle, snare drum, bass drum, tambourine, maracas, gongs, chimes, celesta, and piano. Percussion instruments may play not only rhythm, but also melody and harmony, and are considered the “backbone” or “heartbeat” of a musical ensemble. Because of the diversity of percussive instruments it is not uncommon to find large musical ensembles composed entirely of percussion. “I love the percussion,”says Shalom Harlow, “It’s a right brain, left brain thing. There are different beats, but cooperating together. It’s your whole body doing it, you’re doing the snare drum and the high top with your hands and the bass drum with your foot. You’re this whole motion machine.”


Paul Raymond, Percussion
Brendan McMurphy, Percussion, Trumpet


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