Snare drum

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Snare drum
2006-07-06 snare 14.jpg
A drum kit snare drum.
Percussion instrument
Other namesField drum, side drum
Classification
Hornbostel–Sachs classification 211.212.11
(Individual double-skin cylindrical drums, one skin used for playing)
Developed13th century
Related instruments
Tabor
The drum kit
Snare drum Bass drumChina cymbalSnare drumSnare drumFloor tomFloor tomSplash cymbalRide cymbalTomsHi-hatCrash cymbalDrum hardwareDrum hardware
Snare drum
Not shown
See also

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, which is used in many genres of music. Snare drums are usually played with drum sticks, but other beaters such as the brush or the rute can be used to achieve very different sounds. The snare drum is a versatile and expressive percussion instrument due to its sensitivity and responsiveness. The sensitivity of the snare drum allows it to respond audibly to the softest strokes, even with a wire brush; as well, it can be used for complex rhythmic patterns and engaging solos at moderate volumes. Its high dynamic range allows the player to produce powerful accents with vigorous strokes and a thundering crack (120+ dB) when rimshot strokes are used.

Percussion instrument type of musical instrument that produces a sound by directly hitting it

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.

Staccato is a form of musical articulation. In modern notation, it signifies a note of shortened duration, separated from the note that may follow by silence. It has been described by theorists and has appeared in music since at least 1676.

Drum stick type of percussion mallet

A drumstick is a type of percussion mallet used particularly for playing snare drum, drum kit and some other percussion instruments, and particularly for playing unpitched percussion.

Contents

The snare drum originates from the tabor, a drum first used to accompany the flute. The tabor evolved into more modern versions, such as the kit snare, marching snare, tarol snare, and piccolo snare. [1] Each type presents a different style of percussion and size. The snare drum that one might see in a popular music concert is usually used in a backbeat style to create rhythm. In marching bands, it can do the same but is used mostly for a front beat.[ citation needed ] In comparison with the marching snare, the kit snare is generally smaller in length, while the piccolo is the smallest of the three. The snare drum is easily recognizable by its loud cracking sound when struck firmly with a drumstick or mallet. The depth of the sound varies from snare to snare because of the different techniques and construction qualities of the drum. Some of these qualities are head material and tension, dimensions, and rim and drum shell materials and construction.

Tabor (instrument) type of snare drum

Tabor or tabret refers to a portable snare drum played with one hand. The word "tabor" is simply an English variant of a Latin-derived word meaning "drum"—cf. French: tambour, Italian: tamburo It has been used in the military as a marching instrument, and has been used as accompaniment in parades and processions.

Flute musical instrument of the woodwind family

The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flautist, flutist or, less commonly, fluter or flutenist.

Beat (music) basic unit of time in music and music theory

In music and music theory, the beat is the basic unit of time, the pulse, of the mensural level. The beat is often defined as the rhythm listeners would tap their toes to when listening to a piece of music, or the numbers a musician counts while performing, though in practice this may be technically incorrect. In popular use, beat can refer to a variety of related concepts including: pulse, tempo, meter, specific rhythms, and groove.

The snare drum is constructed of two heads—both usually made of plastic—along with a rattle of metal wires on the bottom head called the snares. The wires can also be placed on the top, as in the tarol snare, or both heads as in the case of the Highland snare drum. The top head is typically called the batter head because that is where the drummer strikes it, while the bottom head is called the snare head because that is where the snares are located. The tension of each head is held constant by tension rods. Tension rod adjustment allows the pitch and tonal character of the drum to be customized by the player. The strainer is a lever that engages or disengages contact between the snares and the head, and allows snare tension adjustment. If the strainer is disengaged, the sound of the drum resembles a tom because the snares are inactive. The rim is the metal ring around the batter head, which can be used for a variety of things, although it is notably used to sound a piercing rimshot with the drumstick.

Rattle (percussion beater) percussion beater as part of a musical instrument

A rattle is a percussion beater that is attached to or enclosed by a percussion instrument so that motion of the instrument will cause the rattle to strike the instrument and create sound.

Drumhead

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.

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.

Playing

Snares on a drum Snaresondrum.jpg
Snares on a drum
Snare Strainer Snare drum strainer.jpg
Snare Strainer

The drum can be played by striking it with a drum stick or any other form of beater, including brushes, rute and hands, all of which produce a softer-sounding vibration from the snare wires. When using a stick, the drummer may strike the head of the drum, the rim (counterhoop), or the shell. When the top head is struck, the bottom (resonant) head vibrates in tandem, which in turn stimulates the snares and produces a cracking sound. The snares can be thrown off (disengaged) with a lever on the strainer so that the drum produces a sound reminiscent of a tom-tom. [2] Rimshots are a technique associated with snare drums in which the head and rim are struck simultaneously with one stick (or in orchestral concert playing, a stick placed on the head and the rim struck by the opposite stick). In contemporary and/or pop and rock music, where the snare drum is used as a part of a drum kit, many of the backbeats and accented notes on the snare drum are played as rimshots, due to the ever-increasing demand for their typical sharp and high-volume sound.

The rute, also known as a multi-rod, is a beater for drums. Commercially made rutes are usually made of a bundle of thin birch dowels or thin canes attached to a drumstick handle. These often have a movable band to adjust how tightly the dowels are bound toward the tip. A rute may also be made of a bundle of twigs attached to a drumstick handle. These types of rutes are used for a variety of effects with various musical ensembles. A rute may also be a cylindrical bunch of pieces of cane or twigs, bound at one end, like a small besom without a handle. The Rute is used to play on the head of the bass drum. Rute are also constructed from a solid rod thinly split partway down.

A rimshot is a percussion technique used to produce an accented snare drum backbeat. The sound is produced by simultaneously hitting the rim and head of a drum with a drum stick: "the sound is part normal snare and part loud, woody accent," "generally sharper, brighter and more cutting," as this produces large amounts of overtones. The stroke is used on the snare in rock, pop, and blues and on the tom-toms in Afro-Cuban music. The technique is very common in ska, reggae and rocksteady.

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.

A commonly used alternative way to play the snare drum is known as cross stick or side stick. [3] This is done by holding the tip of the drumstick against the drum head and striking the stick's other end (the butt) against the rim, using the hand to mute the head. This produces a dry high-pitched click, similar to a set of claves, and is especially common in Latin and jazz music. So-called "ghost notes" are very light "filler notes" played in between the backbeats in genres such as funk and rhythm and blues. The iconic drum roll is produced by alternately bouncing the sticks on the drum head, striving for a controlled rebound. A similar effect can be obtained by playing alternating double strokes on the drum, creating a double stroke roll, or very fast single strokes, creating a single stroke roll. The snares are a fundamental ingredient in the pressed (buzz) drum roll, as they help to blend together distinct strokes that are then perceived as a single, sustained sound. The snare drum is the first instrument to learn in preparing to play a full drum kit. Rudiments are sets of basic patterns often played on a snare drum. [4]

Claves musical instrument

Claves are a percussion instrument (idiophone), consisting of a pair of short (about 20–30 cm, thick dowels. Traditionally they are made of wood, typically rosewood, ebony or grenadilla. In modern times they are also made of fibreglass or plastics.

Funk is a music genre that originated in African-American communities in the mid-1960s when African-American musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues (R&B). Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bass line played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a drummer. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves. Funk uses the same richly colored extended chords found in bebop jazz, such as minor chords with added sevenths and elevenths, or dominant seventh chords with altered ninths and thirteenths.

Rhythm and blues, commonly abbreviated as R&B, is a genre of popular music that originated in African American communities in the 1940s. The term was originally used by record companies to describe recordings marketed predominantly to urban African Americans, at a time when "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat" was becoming more popular. In the commercial rhythm and blues music typical of the 1950s through the 1970s, the bands usually consisted of piano, one or two guitars, bass, drums, one or more saxophones, and sometimes background vocalists. R&B lyrical themes often encapsulate the African-American experience of pain and the quest for freedom and joy, as well as triumphs and failures in terms of relationships, economics, and aspirations.

Construction

Snare drums may be made from various wood, metal, acrylic, or composite, e.g., fiberglass materials. [5] A typical diameter for snare drums is 14 in (36 cm). Marching snare drums are deeper (taller) in size than snare drums normally used for orchestral or drum kit purposes, often measuring 12 in deep (tall). Orchestral and drum kit snare drum shells are about 6 in (15 cm) deep. Piccolo snare drums are even shallower at about 3 in (7.6 cm) deep. Soprano, popcorn, and firecracker snare drums have diameters as small as 8 in (20 cm) and are often used for higher-pitched special effects. [2]

Composite material material made from a combination of two or more dislike substances

A composite material is a material made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. The individual components remain separate and distinct within the finished structure, differentiating composites from mixtures and solid solutions.

Fiberglass (US) or fibreglass (UK) is a common type of fiber-reinforced plastic using glass fiber. The fibers may be randomly arranged, flattened into a sheet, or woven into a fabric. The plastic matrix may be a thermoset polymer matrix—most often based on thermosetting polymers such as epoxy, polyester resin, or vinylester—or a thermoplastic.

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.

Most wooden snare drum shells are constructed in plies (layers) that are heat- and compression-moulded into a cylinder. Steam-bent shells consist of one ply of wood that is gradually rounded into a cylinder and glued at one seam. Reinforcement rings, so-called "re-rings", are often incorporated on the inside surface of the drum shell to keep it perfectly round. Segment shells are made of multiple stacks of segmented wood rings. The segments are glued together and rounded out by a lathe. Similarly, stave shells are constructed of vertically glued pieces of wood into a cylinder (much like a barrel) that is also rounded out by a lathe. Solid shells are constructed of one solid piece of hollowed wood.

The heads or skins used are a batter head (the playing surface on the top of the drum) and a resonant (bottom) head. The resonant head is usually much thinner than the batter head and is not beaten while playing. Rather than calfskin, most modern drums use plastic (Mylar) skins of around 10 mils thickness, sometimes with multiple plies (usually two) of around 7 mils for the batter head. In addition, tone control rings or dots can be applied, either on the outer or inner surface of the head, to control overtones and ringing, and can be found positioned in the centre or close to the edge hoops or both. Resonant heads are usually only a few mils thick, to enable them to respond to the movement of the batter head as it is played. Pipe band requirements have led to the development of a Kevlar-based head, enabling very high tuning, thus producing a very high-pitched cracking snare sound.

A new technique used to improve the sound quality during snare drum construction is symmetrical venting. In contrast to a standard single vent hole, air can easily travel through and around the instrument without getting caught. This rapid movement creates a smoother, stronger sound.

History

Using a metronome with a practice pad is a common and effective way to practice the snare at home. Movement Drum Co. 4-in-1 Pad. Practice Pad with Metronome Best Practice.jpg
Using a metronome with a practice pad is a common and effective way to practice the snare at home. Movement Drum Co. 4-in-1 Pad.
A blue snare drum WestburySnareDrum.JPG
A blue snare drum

The snare drum seems to have descended from a medieval drum called the tabor, which was a drum with a single-gut snare strung across the bottom. It is a little bigger than a medium tom and was first used in war, often played with a fife (pipe); the player would play both the fife and drum (see also Pipe and tabor). [6] [7] Tabors were not always double-headed [8] and not all may have had snares. By the 15th century, the size of the snare drum had increased and had a cylindrical shape. This simple drum with a simple snare became popular with the Swiss mercenary troops who used the fife and drum from the 15th to 16th centuries. The drum was made deeper and carried along the side of the body. Further developments appeared in the 17th century, with the use of screws to hold down the snares, giving a brighter sound than the rattle of a loose snare. During the 18th century, the snare drum underwent changes which improved its characteristic sound. Metal snares appeared in the 20th century. Today the snare drum is used in jazz, pop music and modern orchestral music. [9]

Much of the development of the snare drum and its rudiments is closely tied to the use of the snare drum in the military. In his book, The Art of Snare Drumming, Sanford A. Moeller (of the "Moeller Method" of drumming) states, "To acquire a knowledge of the true nature of the [snare] drum, it is absolutely necessary to study military drumming, for it is essentially a military instrument and its true character cannot be brought out with an incorrect method. When a composer wants a martial effect, he instinctively turns to the drums."

Before the advent of radio and electronic communications, the snare drum was often used to communicate orders to soldiers. American troops were woken up by drum and fife playing about five minutes of music, for example, the well-known Three Camps. [10] Troops were called for meals by certain drum pieces, such as "Peas on a Trencher" or "Roast Beef". A piece called the "Tattoo" was used to signal that all soldiers should be in their tent, and the "Fatigue Call" was used to police the quarters or drum unruly women out of the camp. [11]

Many of these military pieces required a thorough grounding in rudimental drumming; indeed Moeller states that: "They [the rudimental drummers] were the only ones who could do it [play the military camp duty pieces]". [12] Moeller furthermore states that "No matter how well a drummer can read, if he does not know the rudimental system of drumming, it is impossible for him to play 'The Three Camps,' 'Breakfast Call,' or in fact any of the Duty except the simple beats such as 'The Troop'." [13]

During the late 18th and 19th century, the military bugle largely supplanted the snare and fife for signals. Most modern militaries and scouting groups use the bugle alone to make bugle calls that announce scheduled and unscheduled events of the organization (from First Call to Taps). While most modern military signals use only the bugle, the snare is still retained for some signals, for example, the Adjutant's Call.

Snare drumheads were originally made from calfskin. The invention of the plastic (Mylar) drumhead is credited to a drummer named Marion "Chick" Evans, who made the first plastic drumhead in 1956. [14]

Drum rudiments seem to have developed with the snare drum; the Swiss fife and drum groups are sometimes credited with their invention. [15] The first written rudiment was drawn up in Basel, Switzerland in 1610. [16] Rudiments with familiar names—such as the single paradiddle, flam, drag, ratamacue, and double stroke roll, also called the "ma-ma da-da" roll—are listed in Charles Ashworth's book in 1812. [17]

Definitions

Types

There are many types of snare drums, for example:

Marching snares are typically 12 in (30 cm) deep and 14 in (36 cm) wide. The larger design allows for a deeper-sounding tone, one that is effective for marching bands. Famous users of this type are The Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps from Concord, California and the Texas A&M marching band. [20] Many marching snares are built to withstand high amounts of tension, tightened by a drum key. They are played with most of the time with a heavier and thicker stick, more commonly referred to as "marching sticks".

Snare drummers form an integral part of pipe bands, accompanying the bagpipes, and playing music written to fit the pipe tunes. A bass drummer and several tenor drummers, who also perform visual representations of the music, known as flourishing, add to the percussion section of a pipe band. The music played by pipe band snare drummers can be technically difficult, and requires a high degree of rudimental ability, similar to that of marching bands. Pipe Band snare drummers exclusively use the traditional grip.

Drum kit snares are usually about a third to half the depth of a marching snare. They are typically 14 in (36 cm) in diameter and 5, 5 12, 6, 6 12 or 7 in (13, 14, 15, 17 or 18 cm), with 8 in (20 cm) depths also available. [20]

The piccolo snare is a type of snare used by drummers seeking a higher-pitched sound from their snare. Because the piccolo snare has a smaller diameter than that of the marching snare or set snare, a higher-pitched "pop" is more widely associated with it. Although the piccolo snare has a more distinctive, unique sound, it has some downsides. Because of the "sharper" sound of the piccolo, its sound travels further and is picked up by microphones further away during recording, making it difficult to record effectively. [21] There are many kinds of piccolo snare, including the popcorn, soprano and standard snares. Popcorn snares typically have a diameter of 10 in (25 cm), sopranos 12–13 in (30–33 cm), and standard piccolos 14 in (36 cm). [21] A well-known user of the piccolo snare is Neil Peart, the drummer of Rush, who has used a 13 in (33 cm) X Shell Series Piccolo.

The tabor snare dates back to around the 14th century, and was used for marching beats in wars. It is a double-headed drum with a single snare strand, and was often played along with the three-holed pipe flute. The dimensions vary with the different types of tabor. It is typically 4 12 in (11 cm) wide and around 11–13 in (28–33 cm) in diameter. [22]

The tarol snare has similar dimensions to the kit snare. The major distinction is that the snares in this type are on the top head rather than the bottom one.

Meaning "box". This is a simple 12 or 14 in (30 or 36 cm) diameter, 8 in (20 cm) deep snare typical of Samba played in Southern Brasil. Made from aluminum or steel with the snare wires on top, it can be played from a sling or "encima" – on the shoulder to project the sound.

Famous Solo Works

Famous Orchestral Repertoire for Snare Drum

Method Books

Individual Class

Group Class

See also

Related Research Articles

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A bass drum, or kick drum, is a large drum that produces a note of low definite or indefinite pitch.

Timpani musical instruments in the percussion family

Timpani or kettledrums are musical instruments in the percussion family. It is 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.

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Snare technique is the technique used to play a snare drum.

Drum roll

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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.

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".

Drum rudiment Rhythm exercise

In percussion music, a rudiment is one of a number of relatively small patterns which form the foundation for more extended and complex drum patterns. The term "rudiment" in this context means not only "basic", but also fundamental. While any level of drumming may, in some sense, be broken down by analysis into a series of component rudiments, the term "drum rudiment" is most closely associated with various forms of field drumming, also known as rudimental drumming.

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Bateria jazz band

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<i>Frank Arsenault</i> musician

Frank Arsenault was an internationally known American percussionist, teacher, and clinician in the areas of marching percussion, rudimental drumming, drum and bugle corps, and marching band. He was a full-time Staff Clinician and Educational Field Representative for the Ludwig Drum Company. He is also well known in his field for his signature playing style, for his many championship titles, and for his recording of The 26 Standard American Drum Rudiments and Selected Solos.

References

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  2. 1 2 "Pearl Drums". Pearldrum.com. Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  3. Miller, Michael (2004). Playing Drums. Alpha Books. ISBN   159257162X.[ page needed ]
  4. "Vic Firth". Vic Firth. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  5. Bennett, Donn (November 2014). "Buddy Rich's 1966 Fibes Fiberglass Set" (PDF). DRUM!. Drum Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
  6. "History of the snare drum". Drummuffler.com. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  7. Another short history of the snare drum Archived 22 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Definition of Tabor". Merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  9. "Profile of the Snare Drum - Percussions". Musiced.about.com. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  10. "Three camps played in a traditional (authentic) rudimentary style". Youtube.com. 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  11. "Schedule of calls the musicians (drummers) made in the camps". 27 October 2009. Archived from the original on 5 October 2000. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  12. Moeller, Sanford (1956). The Moeller Book: The Art of Snare Drumming. Ludwig Masters. p. 10. ISBN   1571346899.
  13. Moeller, Sanford (1956). The Moeller Book: The Art of Snare Drumming. Ludwig Masters. p. 69. ISBN   1571346899.
  14. "History of Evans drum head". Evansdrumheads.com. 2006-01-19. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  15. "The development of Drum Rudiments, by W F Ludwig". Rudimentaldrumming.com. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  16. "Basler Pfyffersyte - Repertoire vo de Clique 2005". Pfyffersyte.ch. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  17. Ashworth, Charles (1812). A new, useful and complete system of drum beating including the reveille, troop, retreat, officer's calls, signals, salutes, and the whole of the camp duty as practiced at head quarters, Washington City : intended particularly for the United States Army and Navy. Boston, Massachusetts: G. Graupner.
  18. Beck, p. 62.
  19. Beck, p. 83.
  20. 1 2 ,
  21. 1 2

Sources