Skip to main content
Select Source:

percussion

per·cus·sion / pərˈkəshən/ • n. 1. musical instruments played by striking with the hand or with a hand-held or pedal-operated stick or beater, or by shaking, including drums, cymbals, xylophones, gongs, bells, and rattles: [as adj.] percussion instruments the percussion section. 2. the striking of one solid object with or against another with some degree of force: the clattering percussion of objects striking the walls and the shutters. ∎  Med. the action of tapping a part of the body as part of a diagnosis: the chest sounded dull on percussion. DERIVATIVES: per·cus·sion·ist / -ist/ n. (in sense 1) per·cus·sive / -ˈkəsiv/ adj. per·cus·sive·ly / -ˈkəsivlē/ adv. per·cus·sive·ness / -ˈkəsivnis/ n.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"percussion." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"percussion." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/percussion

"percussion." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/percussion

percussion instrument

percussion instrument, any instrument that produces musical sound when its surface is struck with an implement (such as a mallet, stick, or disk) or with the hand. Perhaps the most universally familiar percussion instrument is the drum, common to the most primitive as well as the most sophisticated musical arts. Sticks clicked against each other are another simple form of percussion. These are related to castanets, cymbals, and the triangle. Among the percussion instruments used in the West are the bell, the celesta, the glockenspiel, the xylophone (and similar marimba), and the Caribbean steel drum. In general, percussion instruments are not tuned by construction; pitch, tone, and volume depend on the skill of the performer.

See also gong, kettledrum, snare drum, tambourine, and tom-tom.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"percussion instrument." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"percussion instrument." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/percussion-instrument

"percussion instrument." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/percussion-instrument

percussion

percussion. Name for family of instrs. (perhaps the most ancient in existence) which are usually played by striking a resonating surface with a stick or the hand, or by a pedal. The pf. may be used percussively (as in Orff, Stravinsky, Bartók, etc.) but is not classified as a perc. instr., nor is the celesta. The instr. are divided into those of definite pitch—kettledrum, tubular bells, glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone, marimba—and those of indefinite pitch—triangle, gong, castanets, whip, rattle, anvil, bass drum, ten. drum, side-drum, tabor, tambourine, bongo, and cymbals. Various unusual devices such as iron chains, motor horns, tin sheet, come into the perc. section of an orch.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"percussion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"percussion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/percussion

"percussion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/percussion

percussion

percussion Term for any of several musical instruments that produce sound when struck with a beater or the hand. They are divided into two groups: ideophones, in which the whole object vibrates when struck (such as cymbals and xylophones); and membranophones, in which a stretched skin or membrane vibrates a column of air (this group includes all drums).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"percussion." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"percussion." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/percussion

"percussion." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/percussion

percussion

percussion (per-kush-ŏn) n. the technique of examining part of the body by tapping it with the fingers or an instrument (plessor) and sensing the resultant vibrations. It is used to detect the presence of fluid or abnormal solidification or enlargement in different organs.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"percussion." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"percussion." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/percussion

"percussion." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/percussion

percussion

percussion striking of one body by another. XVI. — (O)F. percussion or L. percussiō, -ōn-, f. pp. stem of percutere strike or thrust through, f. PER-1 + quatere shake, strike, dash.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"percussion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"percussion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/percussion-0

"percussion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/percussion-0