Clash Cymbals

Clash Cymbals The crash cymbal is a metal concussion idiophone of Europe with origins in Turkey. It goes by many names in the English-speaking world, including, but not limited to: orchestral cymbals, hand cymbals, clash cymbals, and cymbal pair. This pair of cymbals is used in the orchestra, in military, marching and concert bands, and in percussion ensembles. Wherever these idioms have spread throughout the cosmopolitan world, crash cymbals can today be found. It is one of several instruments on which band and orchestral percussionists, be they are professionals or amateurs, are expected to be proficient.

The crash cymbal consists of two identical, thin, domed plates made of bronze (a copper and tin alloy, sometimes including some silver). The pair of cymbals pictured here is 18 inches in diameter but manufacturers make them in a variety of sizes (from as small as 8 inches to as large as 24 inches in diameter) and thicknesses (which affect their attack, sustain, and brightness of sound). Due to the general vessel/dome shape of each plate, it is actually their thin, broad rims that come into contact and that vibrate with the greatest energy. Each cymbal has a hole drilled in the apex of its dome that allows for the attachment of a handle strap.