Percussion instruments are those that need to be percussed (beaten), shaken, scraped or rubbed in order to produce sounds.
Percussion instruments are usually separated in two main groups: those of indefinite pitch, such as the rattle and tambourine, and those of definite pitch, which generate a specific musical note, such as the timpani, marimba and xylophone.
The percussion family comprises numerous instruments, of different shapes and sizes, and can also be of simple or complex construction.
The vibration of the instrument itself (idiophonic instruments) or a stretched membrane attached to it (membranophones) causes tones or noises to be emitted when instruments are tapped, shaken, scraped or rubbed.
Percussion instruments are probably the oldest musical instruments and date back to the dawn of human civilization. Its use is related to religious and profane parties and celebrations, funeral ceremonies, dances and many other events. They are found in all cultures and on all continents and are indispensable, to this day, to virtually all musical genres and styles.