Who Invented the Cymbals?

Cymbal History

The urge to strike objects which could produce sound isn’t restricted only for drummers, so the first ancestors of the cymbal were likely constructed in the period when bronze became popular approximately 3000 B.C.

While contemporary cymbals can be heard in rock, classical, or jazz Latin in pretty every other Western type of musical, they were previously used by beggars to draw the interest of prospective patrons and to commemorate weddings as well as to add sparkle to orgies, to encourage that bees would return to their hives and to honor gods.

If you consider drums a bronze disc with an opening in the middle, it hasn’t changed much over the years.

However, many things have changed in the past 30 years.

A flurry of new cymbal manufacturers and an even more significant growth in the types of cymbals used and sounds have entirely changed the marketplace over the last three decades.

Who Invented the Cymbals?

It’s not clear exactly where and when the first cymbals were made. Tibet, India, and Turkey may be or perhaps China and China, where soldiers were able to scare the living daylights out of their foes by a symphony of crashing drums. 

The instrument was reportedly used in the same way in Korea up to 1950.

When the music began to evolve from its military uses and ritual in palaces and churches in the seventeenth century, cymbals were not left out.

In fact, the German composer Nicolaus Strunk was the first person to utilize the cymbals as part of an opera orchestra in 1680. We should only hope that this did not result in his leaving his family in a tremendous amount of debt after his death.

cymbal history
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Haydn and Mozart utilized cymbals sparingly about a hundred years after. 

However, they were not considered an instrument of severe musical significance until the second period into the nineteenth century.

Before that, they were used in groups. Hector Berlioz was probably the first composer to use suspended cymbals played using sticks.

This sounds as progressive as it did in those times, but Berlioz could not do two steps simultaneously. 

He said that the sound produced by a cymbal and a Bass drum is “only appropriate for monkeys to dance to.”

One must wonder what speed the modern drum would have developed if Avedis Zildjian hadn’t moved from Istanbul to Boston in 1908 when he started his own manufacturing facility.

A candy factory is what it was. In the 1920s, his uncle Aram wrote to him from Istanbul in which he was asked to assume the Zildjian legacy by the end of the 1920s.

What does cymbal stand for?

Cymbals are a trendy instrument used for percussion. Commonly used in pairs, the cymbals are thin, typically round plates made of different alloys. 

The majority of cymbals with an indefinite pitch. However, small disc-shaped cymbals inspired by old designs produce a distinct note.

Denis Loncaric

Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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