The first instrumental drum was called a timpani or kettledrums.
This drums origin is of Eastern origin. Small kettledrums were introduced
into Europe as early as the 13th century.
The European kettledrum , which is used in American orchestras also, derives
its special sound from the size and shape and diameter of its bowl. This
bowl is usually made of copper or fiberglass.
Another primary drum is the snare drum. It was developed drom double-skinned
drum of medieval times known as the tabor. This drum, also called a side drum
, has its distinctive feature several gut or wire strings that stretch across
the instruments lower skin. The upperskin is struck with a drum stick, while
being struck the strings vibrate, giving this instrument its characteristic
This small medieval instrumnet gradually increased size, about the 15th century.
It was so often combined in a performance with a fife that these two instrumnets
became closely associated with one another.
A fife is a small flute having
from six to eight finger holes and it also has no key, used mainly with
drums in playing marches.
The tenor drum is closely related to the snare drum. It is somewhat larger
in size and it has no snares across its lower skin. This drum is played with
sofft felt covered sticks and it produces a huskier sound. While it is occasionally
used in the orchestra this type of drum is found more frequently in military
The largest drum in the percussion family is the bass drum. The bass drum
of the classical era, though not equiped with snares, was infact a very deep
snare drum that was set up in a horizontal position to be played. This
instrument was eventually replaced by the bass drum that...