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.

Definitions of percussion
  1. noun
    the act of exploding a percussion cap
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    type of:
    the act of detonating an explosive
  2. noun
    tapping a part of the body for diagnostic purposes
    synonyms: pleximetry
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    type of:
    listening to sounds within the body (usually with a stethoscope)
  3. noun
    the act of playing a percussion instrument
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    the act of playing drums
    type of:
    musical activity (singing or whistling etc.)
  4. noun
    the group of instruments that are played by striking with a hand or object
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    type of:
    instrument, musical instrument
    any of various devices or contrivances that can be used to produce musical tones or sounds
  5. noun
    the section of a band or orchestra that plays percussion instruments
    synonyms: percussion section, rhythm section
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    type of:
    a division of an orchestra containing all instruments of the same class
Word Family

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