About Concert Percussion
Percussion is likely the oldest category of musical instrument still in use today and it has diversified over the centuries into many different sub-families. Of these concert percussion stands out as one of the largest instrument families - not only in terms of its number of member instruments but also in individual sizes in the case of concert bass drums, timpani, and certain varieties of mallet keyboards. Many concert percussion instruments including the aforementioned bass drums as well as concert toms and concert snare drums are shared in common with the familiar rock and pop drum kit however the concert versions tend to be designed for a louder and more projecting sound in order to be better heard in the larger ensemble size. In some cases they may be played differently as well - especially in their marching variants which are designed to be played while the musician is in motion. Concert cymbals for instance are typically played by being struck together while held in the hands.
Most leading percussion brands are represented in the concert percussion field including Yamaha and Ludwig for drums Vic Firth and Malletech for sticks and mallets and Adams for timpani and mallet percussion. The latter category is something of a percussion family unto itself home to a wide variety of melodic percussion that may be used to accentuate the melody or in some bands to lead it.
The vibraphone is closely related but adds a motorized valve to create a perpetual vibrato effect. A smaller alternative to such instruments would be the concert bells which feature no acoustic amplification but are easily heard due to their high pitch. The small size of concert bells (or glockenspiels) also makes them favorites for marching bands.