May 23, 2022 2:55 pm

Anthropologists and historians repeatedly speculate that percussion instruments were the first musical apparatus ever came into being. But with the utmost certainty, the human voice was the first musical instrument, and surely, percussion tools such as feet, hands, rocks, sticks and logs came in second to the on-going evolution of music. When humans developed tools for hunting and agriculture, their knowledge along side with skill, enabled them to produce more complex tools. They use slit drum, made from a hollowed-out tree trunk. For instance, a simple log may have been shaped to generate louder tones (log drum) and may have been pooled to create numerous tones (set of log drums).

As time moved on, so is the evolution of percussion instruments. In the early 10th century, it was known that most tribes in Africa use sorts of percussions such as djembe, macaras used in Latin America, karimbas in Asia and seed rattles in Australia for their recreational and worship rituals and sometimes used in sending signals.

Many of the percussion instruments were familiar with in the western world come from the Balkans, the Levant and elsewhere in the near east. European percussion instruments advanced with the import of drums and other instruments brought back by returning crusaders in the 11th to 13th centuries.

Percussion instruments vary widely in their function within musical ensembles depending on their construction and size; they may produce a strictly percussive sound or have a tonal effect which can be a melodic element. Usually working alongside lower pitched brass and stringed instruments, percussion forms the rhythmic backbone of a composition in performance.

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