The History of the Snare Drum

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Cameron Steele Intro to Music Professor Walters 9/29/2014 The Snare Drum Ah the snare drum, one of the most well-known and versatile instrument in the percussion family. Although it’s not entirely clear when the snare drum was first developed. Scholars and Historians alike speculate that the snare drum was originally influenced by an instrument called the Tabor. This instrument was believed to have been created in the 14th century around Spain and the southern region of France (Jankins). Subsequently, the instrument later found its way into England around the similar time period. The Tabor was a rather primitive drum that was hung over the musicians shoulder. The musician would usually play his or her Tabor along with a small wooden flute in which he or she should could play with one hand. This allowed the musician to play both instruments simultaneously (Jankins). By the 15th century, the Tabor had developed into a Field Drum (Jankins). Also known as a Side Drum It was at this time, that the drum underwent some changes, undergoing a more cylindrical shape as well as increasing in overall size (Jankins). The drum became very prevalent in militaristic purposes. Up until the 16th century Snare Drums were tensioned with wooden laces woven the shells. It wasn’t until the 17th century that people started to develop snare drums with metal screws (Jankins). It was this innovative way of thinking the allowed snare drums to be tightened to a higher tension allowing players to play faster as well as granting the drum that iconic “snapping” sound. It was at this time the Snare Drums started to develop into what many people see as the modern day snare drum. From the 17th century up until modern day, Snare drums still underwent changes. The implementing of metal snares, as well as experimentation with different kinds of materials, allowed the snare drum to progress

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