Tonal percussions are played from the manuals. They are full-sized instruments, but usually have a limited compass compared to the 5 octaves of the keyboard.
They are played by mallets or beaters attached to pneumatic motors. Pianos with reproducing attachments modified to be controlled from the organ relay were very popular in British organs, either as upright pianos in the chambers or, more ostentatiously, grand pianos in the orchestra pit.
Examples of tonal percussions include:
* These percussions were often fitted with re-iterating contacts.
Falling bizarrely between the three stools of effect, percussion and pipe were the sets of 18-note tuned Bird Whistles fitted to a very few Christie organs.
A very few organs were also fitted with pitched gourds, playing (for example) a triad.