Drumset Essay

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The drum set has become a common place item in the music world. Gone are the times when each drum was played separately. The times when cymbals, bass drum, and snare drum was played by different musicians using their hand. The concept of the drum set came from the small space available in theaters and because acquiring all of the percussion instruments and the musicians needed to play them was to expensive. The drummer was encouraged to cover many different parts because of the lack of musicians. In the 1890s they started experimenting with foot pedals to play the bass drum. William Ludwig made the bass drum pedal system workable in 1909, paving the way for the modern drum kit. During WWI drum kits were made up of very large marching bass drums and many percussion items suspended on and around it, and they became an important part of jazz music. Hi-hat stands appeared around 1926. Metal consoles were developed to hold Chinese tom-toms, with swing out stands for snare drums and cymbals. By the 1930s, Ben Duncan and others popularized streamlined trap kits leading to a basic four piece drum set standard: bass, snare, tom-tom, and floor tom. In time legs were fitted to larger floor toms, and "consolettes" were devised to hold smaller tom-toms on the bass drum. In the 1940s, Louie Bellson pioneered use of the double bass drum kit. Gene Krupa was the first drummer to head his own orchestra and thrust the drums into the spot light with his drum solos. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the push for a bigger drum set in rock music gained momentum. In the 1980’s drummers were using large numbers of drums and cymbals and had also begun using electronic drums. Double bass pedals were developed to play on one bass drum, which meant that the drummer didn’t need to have two bass drums. Now, drummers have a wide array of things to add to the kit, including electrical components, that

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