Percussion instruments are amongst those musical instruments that accompany all major and philharmonic orchestras, as well as most popular folklore ensembles. Five of the best known illustrate this series of self-adhesive stamps by the Spanish Correos: Drum, Tambourine, Castanets, Cymbals and Timpani.
The Drum is one of the most widespread instruments of all times. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead, which is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a drum stick.
The Tambourine is made up of two overlapping rings fitted with rattles or bells and covered in one of its sides with a very smooth and tight skin. It can be played in numerous ways, from stroking or shaking the jingles to striking it sharply with the hand.
Castanets consist of a pair of concave shells joined on one edge by a string. The string is hooked over the thumb and the castanets rest on the palm with the fingers bent over to support the other side and make them click.
Cymbals consist of thin, normally round metal plates with a hole in the middle to pass the straps or secure it on a stand. They can be clash cymbals or suspended cymbals within an instrumental drum set.
The Timpani consist of a skin called a head, stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. The skin is then held by means of a number of tuning screws called tension rods placed regularly around the circumference.