percussion instrument

A musical instrument that is struck (or sometimes shaken or scraped) to produce sound. This category includes instruments whose own hard substance is made to vibrate (idiophones) and instruments that include a tight membrane that vibrates (membranophones). Percussion instruments may produce tones of definite or indefinite pitch. Their primary function is often rhythmic, but many are used as melody instruments. They include the bell, carillon, cymbal, drum, dulcimer, gamelan, glockenspiel, marimba, piano, steel drum, tabla, tambourine, timpani, vibraphone, and xylophone.

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A rattle is a percussion instrument. It consists of a hollow body filled with small uniform solid objects, like sand or nuts. Rhythmical shaking of this instrument produces repetitive, rather dry timbre noises. In some kinds of music, a rattle assumes the role of the metronome, as an alternative to the drum.

This instrument was used in the ancient world. Today it plays a role in Cha Cha Cha, tango and jazz.

A rattle is an idiophone. Rattles are also used for infants as a toy.

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