Definition and background:
Term applied to instruments that produce sounds from the material of the instrument itself without the assistance of reeds, strings, or other externally applied resonator. An idiophone produces sounds by one of the following methods: Classification Sound is produced by: Examples 1. Concussion Idiophone striking together two objects capable of vibration Claves, Cymbals, etc 2. Friction Idiophone rubbing the vibrating object Glass Armonica, Musical Saw, etc. 3. Percussion Idiophone striking the vibrating object with a mallet, hammer, stick or other non- vibrating object Wood Block, Bell, Gong, etc. 4. Plucked Idiophone plucking a flexible tounge Jew's Harp, Thumb Piano, Music Box, etc. 5. Scraped Idiophone scraping the vibrating object with a stick or other non- vibrating object Ratchet, Gueiro, Washboard, etc. 6. Shaken Idiophone shaking the vibrating object Maracas, Pellet Bells, etc. 7. Stamped Idiophone striking an object on a surface to vibrate the surface Stamping pit, stamping board, etc. 8. Stamping Idiophone striking an object on the ground or hard surface to vibrate the object Marching Machine, etc. See also percussion instruments
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary