jingle ring

Also:       Schellenrief      tambouine      

Title: demo: jingle ring; David Miller, percussion. Format: DAT.

Contextual Associations

The jingle ring is a shaken concussion idiophone. This alternate form of the tambourine, by which name it is often also called, has no membrane--and is therefore not a drum. It is used as an auxiliary percussion instrument, mostly in contemporary popular music styles but also called for in percussion ensemble music. No specialization is needed to play it.


The jingle ring consists of sixteen small cymbal pairs mounted loosely in a modified circular frame (with an in-turning section that serves as a handle) made from molded plastic. The cymbal pairs are made from nickel sheet metal stamped into contoured discs that are mounted with pins so that their open faces face one another.

Player - Instrument Interface and Sound Production

The player holds the instrument frame by its handle with one hand, either shaking the frame or striking it against the palm of his/her other hand. 


Jingle rings appear in Medieval European iconographic sources, and an illustration of one appears in Praetorius’ 1619 treatise on musical instruments. Often described as a tambourine without a membrane head, the origin of the jingle ring very likely is with that instrument.

Bibliographic Citations

Blades, James. 1970. Percussion Instruments and Their History. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers.

Holland, James. 2005. Practical Percussion. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press.

Praetorius, Michael. 1986 (1619).  Syntagma Musicum II--De Organographia Parts I and II. Translated and edited by David Z. Crookes. Oxford: Clarendon Press.


Instrument Information


Continent: Europe

Formation: cosmopolitan (Euro-American)

Classification (Sachs-Von Hornbostel revised by MIMO)

112.122 idiophone--sliding rattle: non-sonorous objects slide to and fro in the slots of the sonorous object so that the latter is made to vibrate; or sonorous objects slide to and fro in the slots of a non-sonorous object, to be set in vibration by the impacts

Design and Playing Features

Category: idiophone

Energy input motion by performer: stamping and shaking

Basic form of sonorous object/s for idiophone: plate - with concentric contouring

Sound objects per instrument: multiple sounded collectively

Resonator design: no resonator

Number of players: one

Sounding principle: concussing - indirect

Sound exciting agent: colliding sonorous objects

Energy input motion by performer: stamping and shaking

Pitch of sound produced: indefinite pitch

Sound modification: none


11.2 in. diameter

Primary Materials

metal - sheet




crescent nickel

Entry Author

Roger Vetter