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Crash Cymbal


Crash Cymbal

A crash cymbal is a type of cymbal that produces a loud, sharp, but comparatively short-duration "crash" used mainly as an occasional accent effect. They can be played by hand in pairs, or mounted on a stand to be played by hitting with a drum stick. One or two suspended crash cymbals are a standard part of a drum kit. Suspended crash cymbals are also used in bands and orchestras, either played with a drumstick or rolled with a pair of mallets to produce a slower more swelling crash.

Crash cymbals range in thickness from paperthin to very heavy, however all crash cymbals have a fairly thin edge. Crash cymbals are most typically 16 to 18 inch (406 to 457 mm) in diameter, but down to 14 inch (356 mm) and up to 20 inch (508 mm) are readily available from major makers, and sizes down to 8 inch (203 mm) and up to 24 inch (610 mm) were in production in mid 2004. Custom crash cymbals up to 28 inch (711 mm) have been used by big bands.

A pair of identical crash cymbals held in either hand by leather thongs passing through holes in their bells are called clash cymbals, and are a standard part of an orchestral percussion section. Two tones are normally used by major orchestras, known as Viennese and German. Clash cymbals are also used in stage, concert, marching and military bands.

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