|The talking drum is an instrument unique to the West African region. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Drums are percussive instruments built by stretching a membrane across an opening in a vessel. The most common property of various types of drums is their pitch. Drums are one of the oldest and the most omnipresent instruments. Even with the various types of drums present, the most common aspect is the origin of a sound. The sound in a drum originates from the vibration caused when you strike the membrane, called the head, with another object. Drumheads can be made from the skin of a goat, cow, antelope, or sheep, or even a synthetic material. The types of drums that exist vary as markedly as the people who use them for communication, ritual, or entertainment all over the world.
The common way of classifying drums into different types of drums is by their shape. Most drums fall into the following categories:
- cylindrical, barrel, conga, waisted, goblet, or bowl.
A frame drum, with its squat hoop, and a long drum, which is thin and tall, are both the cylindrical variety. A barrel such as a Tabla, goblet such as a Djembe, and bowl such as a Nakari, are named for their shapes so they are easily recognized. The conga tapers at its bottom, and the waisted drum tapers in the middle, as with a Changko's cinched waist.
A further classification of the types of a drum is made on the basis of which side the drum might have a head. A drum may have a head at either end of the body or only on one. Drums like congas and bowls have one head, but frame drums have two. Some drums can be carried while walking or dancing while some drums are stationary, such as the Djembe from Mali.
Besides the categorization of various drums into types of drums, one should be aware that not all drums are specifically tuned. The drums develop their tone due to body shape or head size. Pulling a cord or shifting a peg to stretch the head can adjust the pitch of a drum.
|The bendir, a frame drum from North Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The western world of rock music listeners is more familiar with non-pitched drums, such as a bass or snare drum in a drum set. These can be used in combination with any harmony or key.
We can also differentiate drums in a drum kit as types of drum. A drum kit consists of a collection of various types of drums and cymbals. It can also be accompanied by various percussion instruments such as cowbell, wood block, chimes or tambourines arranged in a suitable manner for the convenience of the drummer.
Differing music styles implement the components of a drum kit in different manners. Ride cymbals and hi-hats are usually preferred more in a jazz set-up, whereas a bass drum and snare drum is preferred more for rock music.
With the onset of technology another type of drum that gained popularity is the electronic drum kit. It was in 1980 that electronic drums were introduced. Today they can be easily used as an easy replacement for other various types of drums in acoustic settings.