8 Examples of Rhythmic Musical Instruments

8 Examples of Rhythmic Musical Instruments

Rhythmic musical instruments are used as accompaniment and tempo control in songs. There are several examples of rhythmic musical instruments and how to play them.

Music is a form of art and is a part of human life. Caturwati and Rustiyanti in Tradition as the Foundation of Creativity explain that music is a means to express feelings of joy, sadness, love, patriotism, and others.

Music is also a tool for imagination. To produce music, you need a musical instrument. According to Britannica, a musical instrument is any device for producing musical sounds. Based on its function, can distinguish musical instruments into melodic musical instruments, harmonic musical instruments, and rhythmic musical instruments.

In this article, we will discuss rhythmic musical instruments. In the Module Designing Concepts and Techniques for Contemporary Music (Art and Culture of Music) by the Ministry of Education and Culture, rhythmic musical instruments are musical instruments that function as accompaniment and tempo control in songs. This musical instrument also gives rhythm/beats to a song.

In general, this type of musical instrument is not pitched. Rhythmic musical instruments are related to the beat (pulse). There are several rhythmic musical instruments that we can play below.


Tambourine is a rhythmic musical instrument, and how to play it is by hitting and shaking it. The instrument consists of a frame, wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called “zil”. In the wooden frame of the tambourine, there is a hole for the zil that will jingle when played. There is also a tambourine that is curved and does not have a membrane called the cik cik tambourine. How to play the tambourine is to hold it in an upright position in one hand, while the other hand is used to hit or tap the middle so that a sound appears.


A rhythmic musical instrument played by plucking. Then, the bass serves to play low notes, close to the limit of human hearing. As such, bass bodies are usually made of wood, although they can also be made of graphite or other lightweight materials.


The gong is a rhythmic instrument from East and Southeast Asia that is in the form of a flat circular metal disc and produces sound when struck with a hammer. Usually, the gong that produces a certain tone is played with other tone gongs in an atmosphere like a traditional Gamelan. There are various sizes, styles, and shapes of gongs. This musical instrument develops differently in each location based on the existing culture. Gongs are usually flat, but some have a dome in the middle. Gongs are made of metal shaped by hammering. Most gongs are made of bronze or brass with an alloy of other metals. Sometimes, in making a gong, the heat of the fire changes in the melting pot causing an adjustment of the color and texture of the gong.


A drum-shaped rhythmic musical instrument belongs to the Latin percussion instrument. The way to play Bongo is by hitting it with your hands. Traditionally, you hold the bongo between your legs with the smaller drum to your left. Some bongo heads come from the skins of animals such as buffalo and cows. The initial process of making bongo begins with soaking the raw skin and then placing it on a drum shell and holding it with a metal circle until it dries. For synthetic leather, use the same process without the need to soak and dry the leather.


The timpani is a rhythmic musical instrument that produces sound by hitting it. Although the tympani plays an important role in an orchestra, its structure is quite simple. A shell on the drum head (drumhead) is placed on top of the kettle-shaped drum body (shell). The player uses a hammer to hit the drumhead. The impact of the hammer caused the drumhead to vibrate. The vibrations are then transmitted to the shell to make the drum resonate with the sound. By adjusting the head volume, it is possible to change the pitch of the tympani so that the drums can accurately create notes that can be distinguished as C-D-E notes.