The History Of The Drumset


Drums are among the most ancient and diverse of all musical instruments (Jaffe 2). The power of the rhythm and drums has long been respected (2). The drumset however, in its current configuration, is a relatively recent addition to the percussionist's repertoire. It has only been in existence since around the 1930s (Aldriage 5). This information introduces the question of how did the drumset evolve to its current condition? In his book Guide to Vintage Drums, John Aldriage states "the evolution of the drumset has been a 'one step forward, two steps back' proposition from the start, with trends coming and going and repeating themselves later" (30). That statement just barely begins ...

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whose twin heads are laced together by thongs of gut or leather (Hart, 52). By manipulating the tension on these thongs a player can alter the pitch of the tone he is making, thus enabling the dundun to "talk", or produce tones that sound like words (52). This allows him to communicate with neighboring tribes (52). Americans took this idea and converted it into a single-head drum, constructed of brass, in which a foot pedal altered the pitch of the drum. This drum was first called the kettledrum and was later renamed to the timpani drum ("Early Percussion").
Another influence to the drumset was the symphonic percussion instruments.
These instruments originated in the European area. They spanned a wide array of instruments such as mallet percussion, timpani, bass drums, woodblocks, cymbals, "knick nacks" used to create sound effects, and many others.
The last main influence to the drumset was the early (1790s-1890s) marching percussion instruments. The primary reason for a ...

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Added: 4/19/2004 10:45:20 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1037
Pages: 4

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