American Percussion | Zildjian Cymbals

The Zildjian company is the oldest family owned business in the United States, tracing its origin back to Turkey in the year 1623. The company was established in America in Quincy, Mass. in 1929 by Aram Zildjian who perfected the art of cymbal manufacturing. Now after many years of making some of the finest cymbals in the world, company is coming up on its 400th birthday. The 14th generation of the Zildjian continue to operate the famous percussion supplier at their headquarters and factory in Norwell, Massachusetts.

As you will learn below, Zildjian invented most of the modern day drum kit cymbals like the hi-hat, crash, splash and ride cymbals, and famously supplied drummers like Jazz legends Gene Krupa, Max Roach and Buddy Rich. Zildjian was also used by the immensely talented and crazy technical drummer Neil Peart of Rush for most of his career.

Bonus: Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich drum battle

Comments on “American Percussion | Zildjian Cymbals

    Don Guss on November 15, 2009 7:22 PM:


    Old School on November 15, 2009 10:17 PM:

    Those of an etymological inclination, might be interested that “Zildjian” literally means “son of the cymbal-maker”.

    “Zil” is the Turkish for “cymbal”.
    “-dji” is the Turkish suffix for “maker”
    “-ian” is the Armenian surname-forming suffix for “son of”.

    Shawn on November 16, 2009 8:00 AM:

    I love zildjian’s. I have A’s

    Thad on November 16, 2009 2:37 PM:

    This would make a great pub quiz question … Which is older, the USA or Zildjian’s?

    A on November 16, 2009 9:57 PM:

    Ya they are located one or two towns over, from Weymouth, MA where I grew up.

    I have actually done some work there when I was in high school for a friend’s father who was redoing their offices.

    Mike on November 17, 2009 5:40 PM:

    I heard on the radio a week back that they’re the 32nd oldest company in the world!!

    There is also a great story about a feud in the Zildjian family in the 1980’s that led to one of the sons taking over a canadian production facility and creating his own competing brand of cymbals – Sabian, who are currently headed by Andrew Zildjian!

    Jon on November 23, 2009 3:34 PM:

    Hey Mike,

    Did Andrew Zildjian know the secret formula of the Zildjian cymbals before creating Sabian?

    Naraya on December 6, 2009 9:40 PM:

    I’m sure Sabian uses the same “secret Zildjian alloy” processes that Zildjian employs.

    By the way I can actually hear the difference between Zildjian and Sabians- Sabians sound tinny to me and do”t have the ringing sustain it seems.

Comments are closed.