Percussion is music involving drums and other instruments such as gongs, bells, cymbals, rattles, and tambourines. The instruments themselves are also called percussion.
How do percussion instruments differ from guitars, horns, and pianos? They are struck to produce loudness, while the other instruments are strummed or blown into, or have keys that are depressed to produce notes. Percussion comes from the Latin word percussionem, which means "a striking, a blow." And those who think percussion evolved with modern jazz and rock and roll will be surprised to learn the word was first used in 1776 to describe musical instruments.