Zildjian: 400 Years of Percussive Excellence

They've Truly Stood the Test of Time

For over 400 years, Zildjian has remained dedicated to empowering musicians with limitless musical expression. As the renowned "Gold Standard" in cymbal manufacturing, Zildjian has consistently pushed boundaries, created innovative instruments, and collaborated with artists from various genres. From its humble beginnings in 17th-century Turkey to its global presence today, Zildjian's commitment to excellence and exploration has shaped the course of music history. Join us on a journey through time as we explore Zildjian's legacy and its unwavering pursuit of musical innovation.

The Birth of the Gold Standard

Zildjian's story begins with Avedis Zildjian, an alchemist seeking to transmute base metals into gold in 1618. However, his alchemical experiments led to an accidental discovery—the creation of an extraordinary cymbal material. This material, a secret alloy of copper, tin, and silver, became the foundation for Zildjian's unrivaled cymbal craftsmanship. Today, Zildjian continues to use this same secret alloy, ensuring that each cast cymbal resonates with exceptional quality and tone.

Zildjian, the Cymbal Maker

Recognizing Avedis Zildjian's expertise, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire granted him the family name "Zildjian," meaning "cymbal smith," in 1623. Avedis ventured out on his own, dedicating years to perfecting his cymbal-making techniques. His meticulous process combined ancient artistry with modern technology, resulting in boundless varieties of superior-sounding cymbals for every genre of music. Zildjian's skilled craftsmen have inherited this tradition, blending time-honored techniques with cutting-edge innovation to create instruments that inspire musicians worldwide.

Pioneering Musical Innovation

Throughout history, Zildjian has been at the forefront of the industry, collaborating with artists and adapting to the changing demands of the times. From the Sultan's Jannisary bands to the classical compositions of Mozart, from the emergence of Jazz, Swing, and Rock to the modern sounds of Pop, Punk, Hip Hop, and EDM, Zildjian has consistently evolved to provide the sounds that drummers envision. Zildjian even played a pivotal role in developing the cymbal vocabulary, introducing terms such as Rides, Crashes, and Effects to help artists articulate their desired sounds.

Crafted by Masters, Refined by Experts

At Zildjian, every cymbal is meticulously crafted to ensure sound and aesthetic perfection. Over 15 dedicated craftsmen contribute to the creation of each alloy cymbal, with some series undergoing a 14-step process. Vintage-inspired cymbals like the Kerope and K Constantinople are handcrafted in small batches, ensuring an authentic replication of classic sounds. These cymbals are subjected to rigorous testing by a team with almost a century of combined experience, guaranteeing both consistency and individuality. Only those that meet Zildjian's stringent standards are bestowed with the iconic logo, affectionately known as the "Zildjian kiss."

Embracing the Past, Creating the Future

While honoring its rich heritage, Zildjian remains committed to advancing the boundaries of design and performance. In addition to cymbals, Zildjian's family of iconic brands includes Vic Firth and Balter Mallets, allowing them to diversify their offerings and contribute to the wider musical landscape. Whether you're a bedroom musician, a stage performer, a studio artist, or a marching band member, Zildjian strives to be a part of your musical expression, accompanying you on the journey of finding and sharing your unique voice.

The Zildjian Company has an exciting lineup of activities to celebrate its remarkable 400th year. They are pulling out all the stops to honor this milestone and show their appreciation to everyone who has been a part of their journey.

First up, they have unveiled a special commemorative logo design and an engaging marketing campaign that truly captures the emotional connection between Zildjian and their incredible team members, talented artists, valued partners, and loyal customers. It's a celebration of the shared passion and love for music that has brought them together.

Zildjian is also launching a collection of limited-edition apparel and drumsticks. These unique pieces pay tribute to five major milestones in the company's illustrious history. It's a fantastic way to own a piece of Zildjian's legacy while showcasing your own love for music.

Mark your calendars because this Fall, Zildjian has something extraordinary planned — a 400th Anniversary Concert! This special event will feature renowned Zildjian Artists along with some surprise guest performers. It promises to be an unforgettable night filled with incredible music and electrifying performances. 

And finally, Zildjian will be releasing a one-of-a-kind commemorative book that showcases the cymbal setups of renowned artists. It's a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the gear and techniques that have shaped the sound of music over the years.

"This will truly be an extraordinary year, one that not only celebrates the Zildjian legacy, but that points forward to the next 400 years of inspiring people to express themselves through music," said Zildjian CEO John Stephans. "This is not merely a moment for us to look back on the history of our company, but to look ahead and share with all of our employees, artists, partners, and consumers what we have in store for the future."

Zildjian's relentless pursuit of excellence has made them a name synonymous with limitless musical expression. From the accidental discovery of a remarkable cymbal material to their ongoing commitment to craftsmanship and collaboration, Zildjian continues to inspire musicians of all levels. So, come along for the ride and let Zildjian unlock your true musical potential. With a legacy spanning over centuries, they are ready to embark on the next chapter of their extraordinary sound journey, and they invite you to join them!