The tambourine is a type of percussion instruments that originated in the Middle East but has been known in Europe since before 14th century. The tambourine is a small, shallow, single-headed drum, with circular metal disk called ‘jingles’ inserted into its frame. The jingles are arranged in pairs around the edge of the instrument. Tambourines are typically circular but come in many other shapes also.
There are several techniques for playing the tambourine. It can be played by hitting the head with the knuckles or back of the hand, by striking it against the knee, by shaking it so that the jingles rattle, or by playing near the rim with the fingers or with sticks. Rubbing a thumb along the edge of the tambouring can also produce a tremolo effect from the jingles.
Mozart used the tambourine in his German Dances, and it is often associated with scenes of revelry or celebration.