How much do you know about percussion instruments which have the longest history out of all the categories of instruments in the world?
There are percussion instruments from many different regions and countries such as Cuba, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. These types of instruments are attractive to anyone because they can easily make a sound just by hitting or shaking the instrument. However, the world of percussion instruments is so deep and even if you try so hard to master it, it will never be enough. Once you get hooked, you’ll be so entranced that you will never be able to stop.
This time, I’m going to introduce some percussion instruments that I chose. These instruments are so unique in looks and by touch that you immediately want to reach out and play them.
If you have trypophobia, just scroll down to skip this one. You may think, “what the heck is this!?” The shekere is a percussion instrument from Western Africa. Shake or hit it like a maraca to make a sound or control the tension beads to create a rhythm.
Well, it might look like the genie’s bottle that’s in the TV anime Bob in a Bottle (The Genie Family). This instrument is called the udu drum although it looks exactly like a bottle… Its origin is said to originally be a jug that is native to the Igbo people in Africa. People started to hit it to play it and it became a percussion instrument. The udu drum is played by hitting it with your hands. The high pitch is made by hitting the body and the indescribable bass sound is made by hitting the hole on the side. The combination of the tones make it into one mysterious instrument. Since the sound volume is relatively low, you can even enjoy playing it at home! Why don’t you try this udu drum while you’re spending more time at home?
There is also the udu drum with a different shape.
This is exactly what unique means! You can play this one the same way as the previously mentioned udu drum. There are more holes and more timbre variations.
The handpan is a steelpan that you hit with your hands. It is a new percussion instrument created by the Swiss in 2001. It plays a unique and mysterious sound. You will feel like you’re deep down in the ocean and the sound takes you to a mysterious world... It’s quite difficult to play because a sense of pitch is required. I have seen a musician playing the handpan on the street. I couldn’t help stare at the musician’s hands. It was amazing.
The following video is an introduction video by handpan player Takao Minemoto.
This spring drum makes an interesting sound that sounds like thunder or storm just by shaking. You can visually enjoy this instrument with a wide color options as well as the mysterious sound to enjoy by your ears. This instrument is often used as a sound effect for brass band music. I think children will like it.
The cricket is an instrument that can produce the sound of a cricket. It makes a mellow and comfortable tone like the claves. Hold the handle, tilt the instrument, and hit the three steel balls against the metal bar to make a sound. It is apparently used in a lot of jazz and fusion recordings.
You can also hold it around the joint of the instrument like in the video below. The cricket is played at around 03:40 in the video. It is a recommended rhythmical accent to the cajon sound.
What do you think? There are countless percussion instruments. More varieties of percussion instruments are available at Sound House. Come try one of them out here at the store if you’re interested!