This is the first 1,000 characters of 395 words (1.58 pages) in the essay titled Percussion
Drums are among the oldest musical instruments. The best known of percussion instruments, they are found throughout the world and in a great variety of shapes and sizes. A drum normally consists of a skin or other membrane, called a head, which is stretched over an enclosed space or over one or both ends of a hollow vessel. Exceptions include the African slit drum, made from a hollowed-out tree trunk, and the Caribbean steel drum, made from a metal barrel. Drums are usually played by the hands or by one or two sticks. In some non-Western cultures drums have a symbolic function and are often used in religious ceremonies. They are sometimes used in sending signals. The talking drums of Africa can imitate the inflections and pitch variations of a spoken language and are used for communicating over great distances.
Many drums used in Western societies are of African, Arabic, or Turkish origin. The kettledrum was introduced into Europe during the Crusades. The European tabor...
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