n. A cymbal that produces a loud, sharp crash, used for occasional accents.
A crash cymbal is a type of cymbal that produces a loud, sharp "crash" and is used mainly for occasional accents, as opposed to in ostinato. They can be mounted on a stand and played with a drum stick, or by hand in pairs. One or two crash cymbals are a standard part of a drum kit. Suspended crash cymbals are also used in bands and orchestras, either played with a drumstick or rolled with a pair of mallets to produce a slower, swelling crash. Sometimes a drummer may hit two different crash cymbals in a kit at the same time to produce a very loud accent, usually in rock music.
Although crash cymbals range in thickness from paper-thin to very heavy, all crash cymbals have a fairly thin edge. They are typically in diameter, but sizes down to and up to are manufactured. Custom crash cymbals up to in diameter have been used by big bands. Different thicknesses are used for different kinds of music, and the alloy for each manufacturer's models varies. A thick cymbal is likely to be used by a metal or rock band, while thinner cymbals are generally used in lighter rock. Darker crashes are best used for jazz.
The sound of a crash is changed by its luster. A cleaner cymbal creates a crisper sound, whereas a cymbal showing signs of oxidation (called a 'raw' cymbal) creates a duller sound.
Normally, two crashes are best for a drum set; a 16" and a larger one.