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The triangle is a metal percussion instrument. It is a long thin metal cylinder bent into the shape of a triangle, leaving a hole in one corner.


The triangle riff in Shirley Bassey's Moonraker


The triangle can be dampened by placing a hand on it. This allows more variation in the use of the triangle, and is common in popular music. To indicate muting, put a + over the note (open notes are indicated by an O).

Scoring for Triangle

The triangle is often used for adding brilliance to orchestral tuttis (particularly the triangle tremolo). The bright silvery nature of the triangle sound is also used to add sparkles to quieter passages.

Works for Further Listening/Study

  • Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1

Instruments and Voices
Woodwinds Flute (Piccolo/Alto/Bass)RecorderOboe (Cor Anglais/Oboe D'amore/Heckelphone)Clarinet (E♭/Bass/Contrabass)

Bassoon (Contrabassoon)SaxophoneBagpipes

Brass HornCornetTrumpetTromboneEuphoniumTubaSaxhorns
Keyboards PianoOrganHarmoniumHarpsichordClavichordCelestaAccordion
Percussion Tuned: TimpaniGlockenspielChimesVibraphoneXylophoneMarimbaCrotalesMusical sawHammered Dulcimer

Untuned: Snare drumBass drumTriangleCymbalsGongsTom-tomsShakersDrumset

Electronic ThereminOndes MartenotSynthesizerElectronic Wind Instrument
Stringed Bowed: ViolinViolaVioloncelloContrabass

Plucked: HarpGuitarMandolinBanjo

Voices Female: SopranoMezzo-soprano (often mistaken with Alto)Contralto (often mistaken with Alto)

Male: TrebleCountertenorTenorBaritoneBass-baritoneBass