Cymbal, Cymbals, a percussive musical instrument. Two kinds of cymbals are mentioned in Ps. 150:5, “loud cymbals” or castagnettes, and “high-sounding cymbals.” The former consisted of four small plates of brass or of some other hard metal; two plates were attached to each hand of the performer, and were struck together to produce a great noise. The latter consisted of two larger plates, one held in each hand and struck together as an accompaniment to other instruments. Cymbals were used not only in the temple but for military purposes, and also by Hebrew women as a musical accompaniment to their national dances. Both kinds of cymbals are still common in the East.