Definition and background:
A percussion instrument made of a circular brass plate. The cymbal can be played as a pair which are struck sidelong against each other to produce a crashing sound ( crash cymbals) or struck with sticks or mallets to cause the plates to vibrate.See also crash cymbals; suspended cymbal; ride cymbal; hi-hat; sizzle cymbal; splash cymbal.Also [Eng.] Cymbal; [Fr.] Cymbales; [Ger.] Becken; [It.] Piatti or [It.] Cinelli or [It.] Cimbali; [Sp.] cimbalos.
A copper/bronze disk struck with a drumstick to ride or emphasize beats. With the hands. Two cymbals can also be played together such as in a marching band or hi-hat cymbals.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary