Percussion Play Baltics are passionate about telling teachers, landscape architects, parents, garden designers, playground designers, farm and theme park managers all there is to know about outdoor musical instruments and percussion for outside spaces, playgrounds and parks. Over time we have come to realise that whilst each outdoor space is unique, many of the questions people have when purchasing outdoor musical instruments or musical play equipment remain the same.
We have therefore compiled a list of these core questions to help you choose the right outdoor musical instrument for you. To get started, simply click a question below to start learning.
With an unusual combination of sculpture, play and music, our instruments make people stop, they challenge the individuals who encounter them to have a go, whatever their age. Integrated with architecture or landscaping they cross the boundaries of usual play equipment to allow hands-on music making possible for any member of the public to enjoy – making them both desirable and fun. Ideal for landscape architects, local authorities and playground designers who are looking for dynamic, interactive playful items which add energy and soul to your outdoor area.
Constructed of durable, easily cared-for materials to avoid the worst effects of the elements and vandalism, all instruments are designed to avoid costly or long term maintenance. Where possible we’ve designed the instruments to be played simply by using your hands. Where beaters are required, we’ve engineered them as one complete piece so the ends do not become separated and they’re attached using coated stainless steel cables. The instruments themselves are made from stainless steel with high corrosion resistance, making them outdoor musical instruments which stand out in terms of quality and performance.
Percussion Play instruments are great way to keep the arts alive in the community and a great way to bring the community together, an opportunity for young children and their grown-ups to be creative and to find the joy in creating music together. Music making promotes cooperation, interaction, and creativity – all things that help to build closeness and mutual affection. Music does not have an age limit, or a required skill level, so it’s something that groups of people can do together and all contribute to and benefit from.
Percussion Play wants to inspire musical fun and curiosity, to provide opportunities for meaningful musical engagement whilst outdoors. We are confident that our instruments can provide an alternative play solution to a number of challenging locations such as public parks, town centres, forests and other public areas.
“It’s great to play.”
Children will love the fact that music can be used in a context outside of the classroom. Playing an outdoor musical instrument does not have an age limit, or a required skill level, so it’s something that friends or families can do together, all contributing and creating their own musical ideas and sounds.
We strongly believe that outdoor musical play ticks all the right boxes – it offers cognitive, emotional and physical play opportunities. Outdoor musical instruments provide an alternative play solution to a number of locations such as public parks, school playground equipment, forests and other public areas. They encourage cooperation and creative thinking – perfect for those who want to avoid conflict and create harmony in their outdoor environment.
Outdoor musical instruments present schools with an excellent way of incorporating outdoor education into the day-to-day curriculum. They make wonderful playground equipment for schools and nurseries as well as outdoor learning and music resources. The introduction of a musical garden or outdoor ‘soundscape’ will excite and inspire children musically while enjoying the obvious benefits that arise from spending time in the natural environment.
Percussion Play are very proud of the fact that all their instruments are made in Great Britain.
Although we always try to source materials from within Great Britain, there are a few, which are not available in the UK. Those materials are sourced from abroad however the quality we expect from them is as high as with any other material from Great Britain.
By sourcing materials from Great Britain we can be sure of the quality, support our industries, while having the added benefit of lowering our carbon footprint.
The assembly of Percussion Play outdoor musical instruments is done entirely by hand and then precision tuned, which requires a great deal of experience and a good-ear!
There is no language more powerful than the language of music. Music crosses all cultural and linguistic barriers. Find a country that does not have music of some kind, from Derry to Denmark from Darwin to Delhi, search anywhere you like. Every country will, without doubt, have some form of music. Their people will make music, play music, and move to music. Music is truly a language that is spoken by every person on the earth.
We distribute our outdoor musical instruments to nearly every country in the world through independent distributors around the globe.
As well as being easy to play, all our instruments are designed to ensure easy installation. We realise installing your own instruments may seem a little intimidating, but we are confident you can do it!
Product-specific installation instructions are sent with each product although you can download a replacement if required
A step-by-step video install guide is also available to watch.
We also make all our products as ready assembled as possible, any assembly required is clearly laid out to ease the installation process.
Trust us, anyone can play our instruments! Anyone can create beautiful, original music playing our instruments. Anyone can surprise and impress people playing our instruments. Anyone can have great fun and express themselves playing our instruments.
If you are anything like me and not musically inclined, learning to play guitar or piano is out of the question. But everyone loves music and appreciates the heart and soul that goes into making your own.
Of most people that claim things like ‘Oh, but I’m not musical at all’, ‘I’m hopeless at keeping a tune’ or ‘I have no sense of rhythm’, only a small percentage turn out to be completely unmusical, it’s just that many people simply think they can’t play music. Maybe you’re one of them. Why? Maybe you took traditional lessons as a child and at some point got frustrated or confused and stopped. Just because you quit your lessons, doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of playing music.
Edgard Varèse the composer, defines music as “organised sound,” saying, “to stubbornly conditioned ears, anything new in music has always been called noise.” So if you want to make music, it’s time to start making some organised noise. And we can help you!
Percussion Play has designed all of their instruments to be played by both experts and ‘budding musicians’ – basically all people with a love of music. Knowledge of music, keys or scales is not required just the willingness to have a go.
We believe music should be available to all comers.
Percussion Play’s instruments present schools with an excellent way of incorporating outdoor education into the day-to-day curriculum. Our outdoor musical instruments make wonderful playground equipment for schools and nurseries as well as outdoor learning and music resources.
Our musical instruments are designed to withstand the elements and live outside all year to help create an outdoor environment that supports young children’s health, wellbeing, development and learning. Children will love the fact that music can be used in a context outside of the classroom and possibly engage with musical outdoors in ways that are not really possible indoors.
Due to their clever design and use of the pentatonic scale, our instruments are so easy to play that children are able to develop musical skills without having to manage any technical demands of an instrument, showing children what can be expressed and achieved through music. With pentatonic tuned musical instruments, technique is not a problem, given the simplicity of the instruments. Dissonance is not a problem, given the pentatonic scale. When one experiences the simplicity of making pleasing melodies and harmonies on the pentatonic scale, suddenly making music becomes achievable and exciting.
Music in the early years supports children’s all round development and helps to shape their skills in concentration, memory and listening. To aid this physical and cognitive development and lay a strong foundation in aural and rhythmic skills, every child must be given the opportunity to discover their musicality. With a little imagination, music can be incorporated into numerous settings throughout the day. Creating areas for music and sound exploration inside and out will help integrate music into the everyday experience of the children.
The introduction of a musical garden or outdoor ‘soundscape’ will excite and inspire children musically while enjoying the obvious benefits that arise from spending time in the natural environment. Children will be able to explore new sounds whilst enjoying the benefits of the outdoor elements – fresh air and sunshine (well, fresh air at least!) A musical playground will provide young children with opportunities for early interaction and positive experiences with music. A facility where children can explore, create and develop their own musical ideas and sounds – maximising the musical potential of a child during their most rapid developmental period while discovering the joy and empowerment of music making.
We want our outdoor musical instruments to be fun and easy to play for all age groups from Pre-schoolers to Seniors.
The dimensions for all Percussion Play instruments can be found under the ‘More Information & Downloads’ tab on each individual product page.
The supplied height of the instruments are designed to be suitable for children age 7 to adults. However, to make them suitable for younger children you simply need to set the instrument lower in the ground by digging a little deeper when you are installing the instrument. This is all made clear on the installation guide.
We design our outdoor musical instruments using a mix of materials. We choose the best quality materials to create the right look, sound, durability and price.
The majority are made from Stainless Steel, Aluminium, GRP (Glassfibre Reinforced Polymers) PVC and Ipe (Hardwood).
About the Materials We Use:
GRP (Glassfibre Reinforced Polymers)
GRP is a composite material or plastic reinforced by fine fibres made of glass. GRP is a lightweight, extremely strong, and robust material with a better strength to weight ratio than steel. It won’t warp, shrink or rust. It’s virtually maintenance free with durability in even the most extreme conditions. GRP is also referred to as ‘Fibreglass’, ‘Composite Plastics’ and in the USA ‘FRP’.
Percussion Play uses GRP to make the notes on the Duo, Marimba, Sansa Rimba, Cadenza and Wall Marimba. The sound it produces is fast and punchy.
High strength – Corrosion free – Extremely safe – Fire retardant – Cost effective – Weather proof – Durable
Stainless steel is known as a steel alloy, meaning that it has several metals that have been melted together with increased protection from the elements by the addition of chrome and nickel. Stainless steel does not corrode, rust, and cannot be stained with water like ordinary steel. Stainless Steel is bright, easy to maintain and clean – perfect for rigorous environments.
With proper care, stainless steel has a useful life expectancy of over 100 years, and it is totally recyclable. Over 50% of new stainless steel comes from re-melted stainless steel scrap.
Percussion Play uses stainless steel to produce their Babel Drums, Tembos, Bell Lyre and also in frames and legs for other outdoor musical instruments.
Aluminium is a very durable material designed to withstand the rain, sun, wind and snow. It is light weight with high strength and resistance to corrosion. After iron, aluminium is now the second most widely used metal in the world. This is because aluminium has a unique combination of attractive properties:
Low weight. High strength. Superior malleability. Easy machining. Excellent corrosion resistance
Aluminium can be reused for the same purposes over and over again. Unlike many other materials, aluminium does not lose its unique properties.
Percussion Play uses aluminium to make the notes on the Duo, Sansa Rimba, Cadenza and Mirror Chimes, Tubular Bells and Harmony. The sound it produces is clear and bright.
Ipe Wood (pronounced ee-pay)
The notes of some traditional instruments such as the Akadinda are made from Ipe. Ipe is a durable and very strong hardwood requiring no chemical preservative treatment due to its natural resistance to fungal decay and insect attack. It is very low maintenance. Typically a reddish brown, left to nature the UV sun rays and traditional weathering will change the ipe to a nice consistent light grey.
Percussion Play uses Ipe to make the notes for the Grand Marimba, Akadinda, Duo, Sansa Rimba and Cadenza. The sound it produces is strong deep and resonant.
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
PVC, commonly known as vinyl, is one of the most widely used plastics in the world. PVC is an extremely durable material that is much stronger than many other plastics. PVC is extremely chemical resistant making it the material of choice in many tough industrial applications. The PVC we use for our Rainbow Sambas and Conga Drums has a very tight surface structure which results in a great sound when struck.