Throughout the history of human civilization, musical instruments have played an important role in shaping most cultures. These instruments have been used as a tool for communicating feelings and meanings. One instrument that has played a major role in musical history is the drum. When studying the history of the drum, one will discover its historical influence on many societies and cultures from around the world.
Drums emerged at almost the same time as Man. The origins of the drum is said to have occurred as early as in 6000 BC. Mesopotamian excavation teams discovered small cylindrical drums that dated back to 3000 BC. The American Indians used gourd and wooden built drums for their rituals and ceremonies. Early drums were made by hollowing out a log and tightly covering the hollowed section with a membrane.
Drums have been a very important influence on Africa's culture and customs. They have been used in African religious ceremonies and rituals. Early African tribes used drums to express important meanings in their culture and practices. The drums made their way from Africa to America during the slave trade. African drums had a major influence on western rock and roll music. The early African rhythms still influence today's music.
When people realized they could play more than one drum at the same time, they began to play two or more drums simultaneously. Drum players began placing different drums together to develop a variety of beats and rhythms.
Cymbals and tom toms were invented in China. They were added to the various set of drums for new sounds and beats. Eventually chimes, wooden blocks, and cowbells were added to the musical mix. The famous Ludwig Drum Company is known to be one of the most important historical influences on the evolution of the drums. The Ludwig Drum Company was started by a young man who had a passion for playing the drums. He could not find a bass pedal that would keep up with his vigorous drumming technique. He searched every store and shop in an effort to locate a proper pedal, but could not locate one. He decided to make a bass pedal out of wood. The pedal turned out to be better than any other product on the market. With the help of his brother, Ludwig created a stronger metal bass pedal which was better than the wooden one. In 1909, The Ludwig Drum Company was created. By the 1930's, the drum kit had been born. The kit included a foot pedal and bass drum, snare, hi hat cymbal, tom toms, and large hanging cymbals.
During the 1950's, rock drummers became popular and they began expanding the drum kits by adding more cymbals and tom tom drums to the kits. This resulted in the modern drum kits we see today. Technology created the electronic drums which produced the sounds that standard drums could not create.
There have been many types of drum kits that contain a variety of drums and other drum accessories. Yamaha and Tama are two companies who have played a major role in shaping the drum that we see today.
Drums have played a major role with influencing the cultural evolution of music. The early methods and sounds of drums can be seen in today's drummer. Although new and innovative technology has improved drum sounds and provided a clearer and more accurate beat, today's new drummers still have to develop rhythm and drumstick techniques. Practice is still the best way to achieve excellent drumming skills. Imagination and innovative technology will certainly influence the future and diversity of the drum and its role in music.
A Nutt - About the Author
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