What is a Drum?

A drum is a an instrument composed of a body or shell, usually hollow with a stretched membrane, or skin. This means is falls into the membranophone family, and can be traced back in time at least 4000 years ago. Though few ancient examples of the drum survived (being that they are often of perishable materials), evidence of its existence are represented in art adorning pottery, paintings, carvings, and cave paintings. Through out time, the drum has been an instrument used in celebrations, rituals, community building, entertainment, communication, healing, and to march troops into battle.

Drums, like people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and voices! So as a general classification, we can define drums into their physical shape then their cultural decent. Body shapes in the membranophone family include goblet, waisted, barrel, long, conical, cylindrical, footed, vessel, frame, and friction. The membrane is usually an animal skin, though synthetic are also used. The skin / membrane is attached four different ways, glued, nailed, pegged, or laced. The body or shell is composed of either wood, ceramic, metal, or synthetic materials. Sizes and shapes of drums vary as much as the diverse cultures that they hail from, again making the instrument as unique as the player.

Sound is created by striking the membrane with hands, sticks, padded beaters or mallets. Basic sound made are the bass, tone, slap, flam, and muffed bass, tone, or slap. It is important to remember not to hurt yourself while drumming, removing rings from you fingers, keeping good posture, and remembering to relax and breath are essential. When playing music, it’s important to remember that you are not banging your instrument but making music with it… Group ensembles can consist of Aerophones (wind instruments), Idiophones ( bells, wood, shakers), Membranophones (DRUMS!), and Chordophones (Stringed instruments). It is very important to Look, Listen, and Communicate when playing in an ensemble. So keep it fun, exciting, and above all enlightening! By Creative, Constructive, Dialog, we can all share the joy of a group music making endeavor!

Types of Drums, goblet, waisted, barrel, long, conical, cylindrical, footed, vessel, frame, and friction.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks