Suspended cymbal, cymbal
German: Türkisches Hängebecken
French: cymbale suspendue
Italian: piatto sospeso
German: chinesisches Hängebecken
French: cymbale chinoise
Italian: piatto cinese
Cymbals are played in two ways: as a struck idiophone (suspended cymbal) and as a concussion (clashed) idiophone (cymbal a due, hi-hat mechanism).
The cymbals dealt with here, the Turkish and the Chinese, are two distinct instruments, each having their own origin, history, construction and sound characteristics.
The Turkish cymbal originated in the Middle East. It was brought to Europe during the Turkish Wars and has been in widespread use in opera and symphony orchestras since the 17th / 18th century. Initially it was used only to create an exotic flair, but from the Romantic period it was given more important tasks to perform in the orchestra. Its powerful sound can rise above the entire orchestra, and it is used especially to create tension and accentuate musical climaxes.
The Turkish cymbal is also used in jazz, pop and rock music for special effects and accents (splash and crash cymbal) or rhythmic tasks (ride cymbal).
The Chinese cymbal comes from the Far East. Like its Turkish counterpart it arrived in Europe in the 17th / 18th century via the Turkish Wars, but it is only since the 19th century that it has been commonly used, firstly in marching bands (as a pair of cymbals clashed against each other) and later mounted on a holder to produce special effects in jazz, pop and rock music. Since the 20th century the Chinese cymbal has sometimes also been used in modern chamber music and the symphony orchestra.
The term cymbal (also zymbel or zimbel), which originally described every cymbal-like instrument, is derived from the Latin cymbalum and the Greek kýmbalon (cup).
Percussion instrument, idiophone with indefinite pitch
Turkish cymbal: approx. 6"–22" (15–56 cm)
Chinese cymbal: approx. 8"–22" (20–56 cm)
Turkish cymbal: approx. 100–2500 g
Chinese cymbal: approx. 100–2000g
Brass wire, sheet brass, nickel silver, bronze alloys
Material: wrapped in yarn, cord or fabric; rubber, felt, wood
Stands with suspension fittings