Pitched percussion instrument

A glockenspiel and a set of crotales in use
A chime bar in G
A chromatic set of tuned cowbells

A pitched percussion instrument is a percussion instrument used to produce musical notes of one or more pitches, as opposed to an unpitched percussion instrument which is used to produce sounds of indefinite pitch.

The term pitched percussion is now preferred to the traditional term tuned percussion:

Pitching of percussion instruments is achieved through a variety of means.

Membranophones are tuned by altering the surface tension of the face that is struck.
Mallet percussion instruments gain their pitch through physical characteristics such as composition, density, or physical dimensions of each respective note.
Alternatively, other percussion instruments can gain pitch through variation of air volume displaced.

This second consideration also means that the traditional division into tuned and untuned percussion is to some extent oversimplified:

Pitched percussion includes the overlapping classes of:

See also


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