Drum

Last updated

Talking drum TalkingDrum.jpg
Talking drum
A drum kit Juke joint drummer.jpg
A drum kit
Ceremonial drum from 3rd to 2nd century B.C. Ceremonial drum.jpg
Ceremonial drum from 3rd to 2nd century B.C.
A pair of conga drums Congas.JPG
A pair of conga drums

The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments. In the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system, it is a membranophone. [1] Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a percussion mallet, to produce sound. There is usually a resonance head on the underside of the drum, typically tuned to a slightly lower pitch than the top drumhead. Other techniques have been used to cause drums to make sound, such as the thumb roll. Drums are the world's oldest and most ubiquitous musical instruments, and the basic design has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years. [1]

Percussion instrument Type of musical instrument that produces a sound by being hit

A percussion instrument is a musical instrument that is sounded by being struck or scraped by a beater ; struck, scraped or rubbed by hand; or struck against another similar instrument. The percussion family is believed to include the oldest musical instruments, following the human voice.

Acoustic membrane thin vibrating layer that produces sound

An acoustic membrane is a thin layer that vibrates and is used in acoustics to produce or transfer sound, such as a drum, microphone, or loudspeaker.

Drumhead Membrane stretched over the ends of a drum

A drumhead or drum skin is a membrane stretched over one or both of the open ends of a drum. The drumhead is struck with sticks, mallets, or hands, so that it vibrates and the sound resonates through the drum.

Contents

Drums may be played individually, with the player using a single drum, and some drums such as the djembe are almost always played in this way. Others are normally played in a set of two or more, all played by the one player, such as bongo drums and timpani. A number of different drums together with cymbals form the basic modern drum kit.

Djembe rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa

A djembe or jembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which translates to "everyone gather together in peace" and defines the drum's purpose. In the Bambara language, "djé" is the verb for "gather" and "bé" translates as "peace."

Timpani musical instruments in the percussion family

Timpani or kettledrums are musical instruments in the percussion family. A type of drum categorised as a semispherical drum, they consist of a membrane called a head stretched over a large bowl traditionally made of copper. Most modern timpani are pedal timpani and can be tuned quickly and accurately to specific pitches by skilled players through the use of a movable foot-pedal. They are played by striking the head with a specialized drum stick called a timpani stick or timpani mallet. Timpani evolved from military drums to become a staple of the classical orchestra by the last third of the 18th century. Today, they are used in many types of ensembles, including concert bands, marching bands, orchestras, and even in some rock bands.

Cymbal common percussion instrument

A cymbal is a common percussion instrument. Often used in pairs, cymbals consist of thin, normally round plates of various alloys. The majority of cymbals are of indefinite pitch, although small disc-shaped cymbals based on ancient designs sound a definite note. Cymbals are used in many ensembles ranging from the orchestra, percussion ensembles, jazz bands, heavy metal bands, and marching groups. Drum kits usually incorporate at least a crash, ride, or crash/ride, and a pair of hi-hat cymbals. A player of cymbals is known as a cymbalist.

Uses

Drums are usually played by striking with the hand, or with one or two sticks. A wide variety of sticks are used, including wooden sticks and sticks with soft beaters of felt on the end. In jazz, some drummers use brushes for a smoother, quieter sound. In many traditional cultures, drums have a symbolic function and are used in religious ceremonies. Drums are often used in music therapy, especially hand drums, because of their tactile nature and easy use by a wide variety of people. [2]

Music therapy

Music therapy is the use of music to improve clients' quality of life. Music therapy is an evidence-based, clinical use of music interventions. The music therapist uses music and all of its facets – physical, emotional, mental, social, aesthetic, and spiritual – to help clients improve their health and quality of life. Music therapists primarily help clients improve their health in several domains, such as cognitive, motor, emotional, communication, social, sensory, and educational by using both active and receptive music experiences such as improvisation, re-creation, composition, and receptive methods and discussion of music to achieve treatment goals. There is a wide qualitative and quantitative research literature base for music therapy. Music therapy is distinctive from ”Musopathy” which relies on a more generic and non-cultural approach based on neural, physical and other responses to fundamental aspects of sound.

In popular music and jazz, "drums" usually refers to a drum kit or a set of drums (with some cymbals, or in the case of harder rock music genres, many cymbals), and "drummer" to the person who plays them.

Popular music is music with wide appeal that is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional or "folk" music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences.

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

Drum kit collection of drums and other percussion instruments

A drum kit — also called a drum set, trap set, or simply drums — is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments, typically cymbals, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with drumsticks held in both hands, and the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums and idiophones – most significantly cymbals, but can also include the woodblock and cowbell. In the 2000s, some kits also include electronic instruments. Also, both hybrid and entirely electronic kits are used.

Drums acquired even divine status in places such as Burundi, where the karyenda was a symbol of the power of the king.

<i>Karyenda</i>

The karyenda is a traditional African drum. It was the main symbol of Burundi and its mwami (kings) and had semi-divine status. The mwami was said to interpret the beatings of the karyenda into rules for the kingdom.

Construction

Drum carried by John Unger, Company B, 40th Regiment New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry Mozart Regiment, December 20, 1863 DrumMozartRegiment.jpg
Drum carried by John Unger, Company B, 40th Regiment New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry Mozart Regiment, December 20, 1863

The shell almost always has a circular opening over which the drumhead is stretched, but the shape of the remainder of the shell varies widely. In the Western musical tradition, the most usual shape is a cylinder, although timpani, for example, use bowl-shaped shells. [1] Other shapes include a frame design (tar, Bodhrán), truncated cones (bongo drums, Ashiko), goblet shaped (djembe), and joined truncated cones (talking drum).

Tar (drum) single-headed frame drum

The tar is an ancient, single-headed frame drum. It is commonly played in the Middle East and North Africa. The tar's drumhead is struck with one hand.

Bodhrán Irish frame drum

The bodhrán is an Irish frame drum ranging from 25 to 65 cm (10–26 in) in diameter, with most drums measuring 35–45 cm (14–18 in). The sides of the drum are 9–20 cm deep. A goatskin head is tacked to one side. The other side is open-ended for one hand to be placed against the inside of the drum head to control the pitch and timbre.

Bongo drum type of drum

Bongos are an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument consisting of a pair of small open bottomed drums of different sizes. In Spanish the larger drum is called the hembra (female) and the smaller the macho (male). Together with the conga or tumbadora, and to a lesser extent the batá drum, bongos are the most widespread Cuban hand drums, being commonly played in genres such as son cubano, salsa and Afro-Cuban jazz. A bongo drummer is known as a bongosero.

Drums with cylindrical shells can be open at one end (as is the case with timbales), or can have two drum heads, one head on each end. Single-headed drums typically consist of a skin stretched over an enclosed space, or over one of the ends of a hollow vessel. Drums with two heads covering both ends of a cylindrical shell often have a small hole somewhat halfway between the two heads; the shell forms a resonating chamber for the resulting sound. Exceptions include the African slit drum, also known as a log drum as it is made from a hollowed-out tree trunk, and the Caribbean steel drum, made from a metal barrel. Drums with two heads can also have a set of wires, called snares, held across the bottom head, top head, or both heads, hence the name snare drum. [1] On some drums with two heads, a hole or bass reflex port may be cut or installed onto one head, as with some 2010s era bass drums in rock music.

On modern band and orchestral drums, the drumhead is placed over the opening of the drum, which in turn is held onto the shell by a "counterhoop" (or "rim"), which is then held by means of a number of tuning screws called "tension rods" that screw into lugs placed evenly around the circumference. The head's tension can be adjusted by loosening or tightening the rods. Many such drums have six to ten tension rods. The sound of a drum depends on many variables—including shape, shell size and thickness, shell materials, counterhoop material, drumhead material, drumhead tension, drum position, location, and striking velocity and angle. [1]

Prior to the invention of tension rods, drum skins were attached and tuned by rope systems—as on the Djembe—or pegs and ropes such as on Ewe drums. These methods are rarely used today, though sometimes appear on regimental marching band snare drums. [1] The head of a talking drum, for example, can be temporarily tightened by squeezing the ropes that connect the top and bottom heads. Similarly, the tabla is tuned by hammering a disc held in place around the drum by ropes stretching from the top to bottom head. Orchestral timpani can be quickly tuned to precise pitches by using a foot pedal.

Sound

Several American Indian-style drums for sale at the National Museum of the American Indian Drums for sale at the National Museum of the American Indian.jpg
Several American Indian-style drums for sale at the National Museum of the American Indian

Several factors determine the sound a drum produces, including the type, shape and construction of the drum shell, the type of drum heads it has, and the tension of these drumheads. Different drum sounds have different uses in music. For example, the modern Tom-tom drum. A jazz drummer may want drums that are high pitched, resonant and quiet whereas a rock drummer may prefer drums that are loud, dry and low-pitched.

The drum head has the most effect on how a drum sounds. Each type of drum head serves its own musical purpose and has its own unique sound. Double-ply drumheads dampen high frequency harmonics because they are heavier and they are suited to heavy playing. [3] Drum heads with a white, textured coating on them muffle the overtones of the drum head slightly, producing a less diverse pitch. Drum heads with central silver or black dots tend to muffle the overtones even more, while drum heads with perimeter sound rings mostly eliminate overtones. Some jazz drummers avoid using thick drum heads, preferring single ply drum heads or drum heads with no muffling. Rock drummers often prefer the thicker or coated drum heads.

The second biggest factor that affects drum sound is head tension against the shell. When the hoop is placed around the drum head and shell and tightened down with tension rods, the tension of the head can be adjusted. When the tension is increased, the amplitude of the sound is reduced and the frequency is increased, making the pitch higher and the volume lower.

The type of shell also affects the sound of a drum. Because the vibrations resonate in the shell of the drum, the shell can be used to increase the volume and to manipulate the type of sound produced. The larger the diameter of the shell, the lower the pitch. The larger the depth of the drum, the louder the volume. Shell thickness also determines the volume of drums. Thicker shells produce louder drums. Mahogany raises the frequency of low pitches and keeps higher frequencies at about the same speed. When choosing a set of shells, a jazz drummer may want smaller maple shells, while a rock drummer may want larger birch shells.

History

Moche ceramic vessel depicting a drummer. Larco Museum Collection. Lima-Peru MocheDrum.jpg
Moche ceramic vessel depicting a drummer. Larco Museum Collection. Lima-Peru

Drums made with alligator skins have been found in Neolithic cultures located in China, dating to a period of 5500–2350 BC. In literary records, drums manifested shamanistic characteristics and were often used in ritual ceremonies. [4]

The bronze Dong Son drum was fabricated by the Bronze Age Dong Son culture of northern Vietnam. They include the ornate Ngoc Lu drum.

Animal drumming

Macaque monkeys drum objects in a rhythmic way to show social dominance and this has been shown to be processed in a similar way in their brains to vocalizations, suggesting an evolutionary origin to drumming as part of social communication. [5] Other primates make drumming sounds by chest beating or hand clapping, [6] [7] and rodents such as kangaroo rats also make similar sounds using their paws on the ground. [8]

Talking drums

Drums are used not only for their musical qualities, but also as a means of communication over great distances. The talking drums of Africa are used to imitate the tone patterns of spoken language. Throughout Sri Lankan history drums have been used for communication between the state and the community, and Sri Lankan drums have a history stretching back over 2500 years.

Drums in art

Drumming may be a purposeful expression of emotion for entertainment, spiritualism and communication. Many cultures practice drumming as a spiritual or religious passage and interpret drummed rhythm similarly to spoken language or prayer. Drumming has developed over millennia to be a powerful art form. Drumming is commonly viewed as the root of music and is sometimes performed as a kinesthetic dance. As a discipline, drumming concentrates on training the body to punctuate, convey and interpret musical rhythmic intention to an audience and to the performer.

Military uses

Chinese troops used tàigǔ drums to motivate troops, to help set a marching pace, and to call out orders or announcements. For example, during a war between Qi and Lu in 684 BC, the effect of drum on soldiers' morale is employed to change the result of a major battle. Fife-and-drum corps of Swiss mercenary foot soldiers also used drums. They used an early version of the snare drum carried over the player's right shoulder, suspended by a strap (typically played with one hand using traditional grip). It is to this instrument that the English word "drum" was first used. Similarly, during the English Civil War rope-tension drums would be carried by junior officers as a means to relay commands from senior officers over the noise of battle. These were also hung over the shoulder of the drummer and typically played with two drum sticks. Different regiments and companies would have distinctive and unique drum beats only they recognized. In the mid-19th century, the Scottish military started incorporating pipe bands into their Highland regiments. [9]

During pre-Columbian warfare, Aztec nations were known to have used drums to send signals to the battling warriors. The Nahuatl word for drum is roughly translated as huehuetl. [10]

The Rig Veda, one of the oldest religious scriptures in the world, contains several references to the use of the Dundhubi (war drum). Arya tribes charged into battle to the beating of the war drum and chanting of a hymn that appears in Book VI of the Rig Veda and also the Atharva Veda where it is referred to as the "Hymn to the battle drum".

Types

Handscroll detail of a Chinese percussionist playing a drum for a dancing woman, from a 12th-century remake of Gu Hongzhong's 10th-century originals, Song dynasty. Gu Hongzhong's Night Revels, Detail 6.jpg
Handscroll detail of a Chinese percussionist playing a drum for a dancing woman, from a 12th-century remake of Gu Hongzhong's 10th-century originals, Song dynasty.

See also

Related Research Articles

Snare drum type of drum

A snare drum or side drum is a percussion instrument that produces a sharp staccato sound when the head is struck with a drum stick, due to the use of a series of stiff wires held under tension against the lower skin. Snare drums are often used in orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, parades, drumlines, drum corps, and more. It is one of the central pieces in a drum set, a collection of percussion instruments designed to be played by a seated drummer and used in many genres of music.

Bass drum percussion instrument

A bass drum, or kick drum, is a large drum that produces a note of low definite or indefinite pitch. A bass drum is typically cylindrical, with the drum's diameter much greater than the drum's depth. There is normally a struck head at both ends of the cylinder. The heads may be made of calf skin or plastic. There is normally a means of adjusting the tension either by threaded taps or by strings. Bass drums are built in a variety of sizes, but size has little to do with the volume produced by the drum. The size chosen being based on convenience and aesthetics. Bass drums are percussion instruments and vary in size and are used in several musical genres. Three major types of bass drums can be distinguished.

Conga Cuban drum

The conga, also known as tumbadora, is a tall, narrow, single-headed drum from Cuba. Congas are staved like barrels and classified into three types: quinto, tres dos or tres golpes (middle), and tumba or salidor (lowest). Congas were originally used in Afro-Cuban music genres such as conga and rumba, where each drummer would play a single drum. Following numerous innovations in conga drumming and construction during the mid-20th century, as well as its internationalization, it became increasingly common for drummers to play two or three drums. Congas have become a popular instrument in many forms of Latin music such as son, descarga, Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, songo, merengue and Latin rock.

Percussion mallet object used to strike or beat a percussion instrument

A percussion mallet or beater is an object used to strike or beat a percussion instrument in order to produce its sound.

Rototom

The Rototom is a drum developed by Al Payson, Robert Grass, and Michael Colgrass, that has no shell and is tuned by rotating. A rototom consists of a single head in a die-cast zinc or aluminum frame. Unlike most other drums, this type has a variable definite pitch. Composers are known to write for them as tuned instruments, demanding specific pitches. Rototoms are often used to extend the tom range of a standard drum kit. They were commercialized by the drumhead company Remo Inc., of North Hollywood, California.

Drumline

A drumline is a section of percussion instruments usually played as part of a musical marching ensemble. A drumline can also be a section on their own competing against other marching drumlines. High school and college marching bands, drill and drum corps, drum and bugle corps, indoor percussion ensembles are some examples of groups that include a "drumline".

Marching percussion

Marching percussion instruments are specially designed to be played while moving. This is achieved by attaching the drum(s) to a special harness worn by the drummer, although not all marching bands use such harnesses and instead use traditional baldrics to sling their drums. The drums are designed and tuned for maximum articulation and projection of sound, as marching activities are almost always outdoors or in large interior spaces. Articulation is paramount to producing a "clean" sound from all the drummers in the line. These instruments are used by marching bands, drum and bugle corps, indoor percussion ensembles, and pipe bands. A marching percussion ensemble is frequently known as a drumline or battery.

Davul large double-headed drum

The davul, tapan, atabal or tabl is a large double-headed drum that is played with mallets. It has many names depending on the country and region. These drums are commonly used in the music of Middle East. These drums have both a deep bass sound and a thin treble sound due to their construction and playing style, where different heads and sticks are used to produce different sounds on the same drum.

A tenor drum is a membranophone without a snare. There are several types of tenor drums.

Basler drum two-headed rope-tension drum

The Basler drum is a two-headed rope-tension drum. It takes its name from its origin in Basel. This percussion instrument is best known from the Carnival of Basel, where it is played by more than 2000 drummers. They are called Tambouren in Swiss German or Tambourins in French. There is no typical number of players for marching-bands including this instrument. Anything between three and fifty drummers may be seen in such a formation.

Remo American company

Remo Inc. is an American drumhead, drumset, percussion instrument and banjo head company founded by Remo Belli in 1957.

Drum hardware parts of a drum kit

Drum hardware refers to the parts of a drum or drum kit that are used to tension, position, and otherwise support the instruments themselves.

Tom-tom drum

A tom-tom drum is a cylindrical drum with no snares, named from the Anglo-Indian and Sinhala language. It was added to the drum kit in the early part of the 20th century. Most toms range in size between 6 and 20 inches in diameter, though floor toms can go as large as 24 inches (61 cm). It is not to be confused with a tam-tam, a gong. The Tom-tom is popular and used by players worldwide.

Unpitched percussion instrument

An unpitched percussion instrument is a percussion instrument played in such a way as to produce sounds of indeterminate pitch, or an instrument normally played in this fashion.

Drum tuning is the process of adjusting the frequency or pitch of a drum. Although most drums are unpitched instruments, they still require tuning in order to remove unwanted overtones and produce the sound that the drummer prefers. Some drums such as timpani and rototoms are tuned to a definite pitch. Drums are tuned by tightening or loosening the tension rods or ropes, which control the tension on the drumhead. Additional techniques such as muffling may also be used.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Grove, George (January 2001). Stanley Sadie (ed.). The New Grove Encyclopædia of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.). Grove's Dictionaries of Music. pp. Volume 5, pp638–649. ISBN   978-1-56159-239-5.
  2. Weiss, Rick (July 5, 1994). "Music Therapy". The Washington Post (Jul 5, 1994).
  3. Drum Lessons - Drumbook.org
  4. Liu, Li (2007). The Chinese Neolithic: Trajectories to Early States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN   0-521-01064-0, p. 123
  5. Remedios, R; Logothetis, NK; Kayser, C (2009). "Monkey drumming reveals common networks for perceiving vocal and nonvocal communication sounds". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106 (42): 18010–5. doi:10.1073/pnas.0909756106. PMC   2755465 . PMID   19805199.
  6. Clark Arcadi, A; Robert, D; Mugurusi, F (2004). "A comparison of buttress drumming by male chimpanzees from two populations". Primates; Journal of Primatology. 45 (2): 135–9. doi:10.1007/s10329-003-0070-8. PMID   14735390.
  7. Kalan, AK; Rainey, HJ. (2009). "Hand-clapping as a communicative gesture by wild female swamp gorillas". Primates. 50 (3): 273–5. doi:10.1007/s10329-009-0130-9. PMID   19221858.
  8. Randall, JA. (2001). "Evolution and Function of Drumming as Communication in Mammals". American Zoologist. 41 (5): 1143–1156. CiteSeerX   10.1.1.577.2992 . doi:10.1668/0003-1569(2001)041[1143:EAFODA]2.0.CO;2. Archived from the original on 2012-07-09.
  9. Chatto, Allan. (1996). Brief History of Drumming. Archived March 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Aguilar-Moreno, Manuel. (2006). [Handbook to Life In the Aztec World]