Definition and background:
A cymbal (circular brass plate) that sits on a stand at an angle as is part of the drum kit ( drum set), and is struck with drum sticks or brushes to keep a rhythmic pulse of the composition. The use of repeated rhythmic patterns created by the performer with the sticks or brushes on the cymbal are referred to as "riding." Other types of cymbal can be used to "ride" on, but the ride cymbals have a sound quality that can be struck continuously throughout a composition and not distract the listener from the other components of the music. Ride cymbals can come in thicker or thinner versions that provide the right sound for certain styles of music and are typically 20 to 22 inches in diameter. A rock band may require a heavier cymbal for the louder music where a jazz band or combo may prefer a thinner lighter sound. See also cymbal; crash cymbals; suspended cymbal; hi-hat; sizzle cymbal; splash cymbal.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary