What Are the Different Types of Pitched Percussion?

Pitch percussion comes in a variety of forms. The term simply refers to the tuning of a percussion instrument to a specific musical note. The piano is a pitched percussion instrument in technical terms. Mallet percussion instruments, timpani, chimes, the celeste, crotales, and wood blocks are examples of pitched percussion commonly found in orchestras and bands. Steel drums, while not commonly used in orchestras, are a type of pitched percussion.

A percussion instrument is any instrument that makes a sound when it is struck. To make a sound, the piano uses felt-lined hammers that strike the strings. The piano is a pitched percussion instrument because each string is tuned to a specific note.

Keyboard percussion instruments, also known as mallet instruments, are pitched percussion instruments. The marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, and glockenspiel, also known as orchestra bells, are the most common. Tone bars are organized in a keyboard style on each of these instruments, which means they are arranged like a piano keyboard. Mallet percussion instruments, like the piano’s black and white keys, are divided into two planes, with the black keys arranged in twos and threes on a higher plane than the white keys. The tone bars on mallet percussion are all the same color, but some of them are grouped in twos and threes and placed on a higher plane.

Another type of pitched percussion instrument is the timpani. Timpani, also known as the kettle drum, are bowl-shaped drums with a skin stretched over the top. The skin is struck with a large, soft mallet, and the sound is reverberated the bowl. In most orchestras, three or four timpani drums are used.

The pitch of timpani is affected the size and shape of the bowl, as well as the tightness of the skin. To allow timpani players to adjust the pitch of their drums more quickly, some timpani have pedals that are connected to the skin. Many times, the players must change the pitch in the middle of a piece of music, which is difficult and time-consuming.

Chimes are metal tubes that are long and cylindrical. The pitch of the instrument is determined the length of the tube. They’re suspended from a stand and beaten with a mallet. The pitch is piercing, and it’s usually only used as an accent instrument in music.

A celeste is a small keyboard instrument that looks like a piano. Metal bars are struck felt-lined hammers on the inside. This produces a “tinkling” sound, which is a bell-like sound. Crotales are similar to bells, but they are struck with mallets individually. They’re mounted on a bracket and shaped like miniature cymbals.

Mallets are used to strike woodblocks that have been arranged in a line. They have a hollow interior and are tuned to a specific set of notes. Because the wood is prone to cracking, only soft rubber or yarn-wrapped mallets are used.

Steel drums are cylindrical metal barrels that were originally used to make steel barrels. The drum’s head is concave, with numerous indentions, each with a different pitch. The barrel is usually cut to a shorter height, only a few inches in some cases. Steel drums are a solo instrument as well as a part of musical groups known as steel bands.