Encyclopedia > Hi-hat

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A Hi-hat is a type of cymbal used as a typical part of a drum kit by percussionists in jazz, rock and roll, and other forms of contemporary popular music.

It consists of two cymbals mounted on a metal stand, with a pedal mechanism designed such that the cymbals can either be brought together by pressing the pedal, or raised to a predetermined (but adjustable before playing) distance by releasing the pedal. The hi-hat can be played by striking it with a drumstick or brush with the cymbals brought together ("closed"), or apart ("open"), or by using the pedal to forcefully bring the cymbal together.

When struck closed or played with the pedal, the hi-hat gives a short, muted percussive sound. Adjusting the gap between the cymbals can alter the sound of the open hi-hat from a "shimmering", sustained tone to something similar to a ride cymbal.

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