Nursery Rhymes


Medieval life and Times

Definition and Description of the Drum
Definition and description of the Drum: Drums were made initially from a hollow tree trunk, clay or metal and covered by skins of water animals - also called tambours. The Drum can be described as a percussion instrument consisting either of a hollow cylinder, over each end of which is stretched a piece of skin or vellum, to be beaten with a stick; or of a metallic hemisphere (kettledrum) with a single piece of skin to be so beaten; the common instrument for marking time in martial music or cavalry band.

Types of Medieval drums included the bass drum and the snare drum. The first bass drum had a short shell with a wide head and can be traced back to the 14th century in Europe. The history of the snare drum dates back to the Tabor found in Medieval Europe circa 1300. The term bass drum has been used for two distinct instruments.

Family of Instruments: The Drum belongs to the family of Percussion instruments.

Medieval Musical Instruments - Drum
Medieval Musical instruments, including the Drum, would be used by the musicians of the period including the Waits, Minstrels or Troubadours. There were three categories of musical instruments in the Middle Ages - wind, string and percussion. Terms of description were Bas instruments and Haut instruments. Bas referred to soft instruments (literally, "low," but referring to volume, not pitch) which were suitable for the chamber which included the vielle, rebec and other bowed strings, the lute and other plucked strings. Haut referred to loud instruments (literally "high" but referring to volume, not to pitch) which were suitable for outdoors which included the shawm, sackbut, pipe and tabor.

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