History, Facts and
interesting information about Medieval music,
specifically, Percussion Instruments
Definition of Percussion
instruments: A family of instruments generally played by striking with
hands, sticks, or mallets but occasionally played by being shaken. Often
made of wood with a skin stretched over one side of it.
Origin of the word
The word is taken from the act of
percussing, or striking one body against another, a forcible collision
especially such as gives a sound or report.
Drum - Percussion Instrument
Types of Percussion Instruments
There were many types of Percussion Instruments played during the Medieval times including the
instruments detailed in the following list:
The Drum - Drums were made initially from a hollow tree trunk, clay or metal and covered by skins of water animals - also called tambours
Cymbals - Thin round concave metal plates
The Triangle - The triangle was a musical instrument introduced during the 14th century
The Tambourine - This musical instrument was traditionally used by a woman
The Tabor - a small drum used as an accompaniment to a pipe or fife, both being played by the same person.
Timbrel - This musical instrument was also referred to as a tambourine and dates back to antiquity
Bells - the use of Bells also dates back to antiquity
Medieval Music -
Medieval Musical instruments would be used by the musicians
of the period including the Waits,
Troubadours. There were three categories of musical instruments in the Middle Ages - Percussion, string and percussion.
Haut referred to loud instruments (literally
"high" but referring to volume, not to pitch) which were suitable for
outdoors. This type of instrument included many Percussion Instruments
including the drums and cymbals. Many of the Medieval musical instruments were the
forerunners to our modern musical instruments.
Medieval Music -
The Medieval Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about the
musicians and styles of music which scatter the history books including
Percussion Instruments. The Medieval Life and Times Sitemap provides full details of all
of the information and facts about the fascinating subject of the lives
of the people who lived during the historical period of the Middle Ages.
The content of this article on Percussion Instruments provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.