Discussion Rhythm is one of the cornerstones of music, and the instrument we've always relied on to set rhythm is the percussion instrument. The etymology of percussion is literally striking hard, or to beat. Humanity has used percussion from the earliest days of recorded history. Percussion is such an easy instrument that all it requires are our hands or our feet. In western classical music, percussive instruments were borrowed from the 16th century onward from outside cultures, particularly Turkey. These instruments included snare drums, triangles, cymbals, and small gongs. Later instruments borrowed were the kettledrums, or better known today as the timpani. Below are a couple of examples of some renaissance era usage of drums and examples of drums from around the world. There are not many examples from earlier times specifically for drums because notating and reperforming drum based pieces was not a common occurrence until more recent times.