Almost as ancient as the human voice, percussion instru-
ments are among the oldest instruments known to man.
A large number of types were developed in every culture.
The forms of percussion instruments used in medieval
Europe represent the widest variety of all instrument
types. There were frame drums with skins stretched over
one or two sides, sometimes with attached snares, held
between the legs or in the hands and struck with sticks
or with the fingers; there were barrel-like instruments of
wood or metal, and tambourines (tamburello, riqq, duff)
with small bells or jingles. Percussion instruments were
found among every class of society, from the court wind
ensembles that played from the towers to the dances of
the common people.