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Idiophone instruments

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Hang (instrument)

The Hang is a musical instrument in the idiophone class created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland. The name of their company is PANArt Hangbau AG. The Hang is sometimes referred to as a hang drum, but the inventors consider this a misnomer and strongly discourage its use.

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Cymbal

A cymbal is a common percussion instrument. Often used in pairs, cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note. Cymbals are used in many ensembles ranging from the orchestra, percussion ensembles, jazz bands, heavy metal bands, and marching groups. Drum kits usually incorporate at least a crash, ride, or crash/ride, and a pair of hi-hat cymbals. A player of cymbals is known as a cymbalist.

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Steelpan

Steelpans is a musical instrument originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Steel pan musicians are called pannists.

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Celesta

The celesta or celeste is a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard. It looks similar to an upright piano, albeit with smaller keys and a much smaller sized cabinet, or a large wooden music box (three-octave). The keys connect to hammers that strike a graduated set of metal plates or bars suspended over wooden resonators. Four- or five-octave models usually have a damper pedal that sustains or damps the sound. The three-octave instruments do not have a pedal because of their small "table-top" design. One of the best-known works that uses the celesta is Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker.

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Gong

A gong is an East and Southeast Asian musical percussion instrument that takes the form of a flat, circular metal disc which is hit with a mallet. The gong traces its roots back to the Bronze Age around 3500 BC. The term 'gong' traces its origins in Java and scientific and archaeological research has established that Burma, China, Java and Annam were the four main gong manufacturing centres of the ancient world. The gong later found its way into the Western World in the 18th century when it was also used in the percussion section of a Western-style symphony orchestra. A form of bronze cauldron gong known as a resting bell was widely used in ancient Greece and Rome, for instance in the famous Oracle of Dodona, where disc gongs were also used.

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Hi-hat

A hi-hat, also spelled hihat or high-hat, is a combination of two cymbals, a foot-operated pedal which moves a rod which in turn moves one of the cymbals, all mounted on a metal stand. Hi-hats are an essential part of the standard drum kit used by drummers in many popular music and traditional music styles. It consists of a mating pair of small to medium-sized cymbals mounted on a stand, with the two cymbals facing each other. The bottom cymbal is fixed and the top is mounted on a rod which moves the top cymbal towards the bottom one when a foot pedal is depressed.

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Carillon

A carillon is a musical instrument that is typically housed in the bell tower (belfry) of a church or municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. A traditional manual carillon is played by striking a keyboard – the stick-like keys of which are called batons – with the fists, and by pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet. The keys mechanically activate levers and wires that connect to metal clappers that strike the inside of the bells, allowing the performer on the bells, or carillonneur/carillonist to vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key.

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Maraca

Maraca, sometimes called rumba shaker, shac-shac, and various other names, is a rattle which appears in many genres of Caribbean and Latin music. It is shaken by a handle, and usually played as part of a pair.

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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 notches to produce a ratchet sound.

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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 fall to the other end of the tube, making a sound reminiscent of rain falling. The rainstick is believed to have been invented by the Mapuches and was played in the belief it could bring about rainstorms. It was also found on the Chilean coasts, though it is not certain if it was made by the Incas. Rainsticks are usually made from any of several species of cactus. The cacti, which are hollow, are dried in the sun. The spines are removed, then driven into the cactus like nails. Pebbles or other small objects are placed inside the rainstick, and the ends are sealed. A sound like falling water is made when the rainstick has its direction changed to a vertical position.

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Sistrum

A sistrum is a musical instrument of the percussion family, chiefly associated with ancient Egypt and Iraq. It consists of a handle and a U-shaped metal frame, made of brass or bronze and between 30 and 76 cm in width. When shaken the small rings or loops of thin metal on its movable crossbars produce a sound that can be from a soft clank to a loud jangling. Its name in the ancient Egyptian language was sekhem (sḫm) and sesheshet (sššt). Sekhem is the simpler, hoop-like sistrum, while sesheshet is the naos-shaped one. The modern day West African disc rattle instrument is also called a sistrum.

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Vibraslap

The vibraslap is a percussion instrument consisting of a piece of stiff wire connecting a wood ball to a hollow box of wood with metal “teeth” inside. The percussionist holds the metal wire in one hand and strikes the ball. The box acts as a resonating body for a metal mechanism placed inside with a number of loosely fastened pins or rivets that vibrate and rattle against the box. The instrument is a modern version of the jawbone.

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Angklung

The angklung is a musical instrument from Indonesia made of a varying number of bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame. The tubes are carved to have a resonant pitch when struck and are tuned to octaves, similar to Western handbells. The base of the frame is held in one hand, whilst the other hand shakes the instrument, causing a repeating note to sound. Each of three or more performers in an angklung ensemble play just one note or more, but altogether complete melodies are produced.

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Tubular bells

Tubular bells (also known as chimes) are musical instruments in the percussion family. Their sound resembles that of church bells, carillon, or a bell tower; the original tubular bells were made to duplicate the sound of church bells within an ensemble. Each bell is a metal tube, 30–38 mm (1 1⁄4–1 1⁄2 in) in diameter, tuned by altering its length. Its standard range is C4–F5, though many professional instruments reach G5. Tubular bells are often replaced by studio chimes, which are a smaller and usually less expensive instrument. Studio chimes are similar in appearance to tubular bells, but each bell has a smaller diameter than the corresponding bell on tubular bells.

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Shekere

The shekere is a West African percussion instrument consisting of a dried gourd with beads or cowries woven into a net covering the gourd. The instrument is common in West African and Latin American folkloric traditions as well as some of the popular music styles. In performance it is shaken and/or hit against the hands.