The snare drum is a member of the percussion family which means that it is played by being struck. It has strands of snares that are curled metal wires, plastic cables, gut chords, or metal cables extended across the bottom of the drum. It is cylindrical with skin stretched out at its top. A wooden drumstick is used to strike the top head which is also called batter-head. Many consider the snare drum to be one of the most significant drums included in the drum set.

History

The snare drum is a descendant of the Tabor, a medieval drum with one gut snare stretched at the bottom. Its first use was in war and it was frequently accompanied by a pipe or fife. The snare drum became larger and cylindrical in the 15th century. This was widely used by the Swiss mercenaries. It has a deeper design and was meant to be carried.

In the 17th century, screws were added to fasten the snares which provides for a brighter sound. Metal snares surfaced in the 20th century. In the book entitled The Art of Snare drumming by Sanford Moeller, it is said that studying military drumming is needed to be familiar with the nature of the snare drum because its true character is as a military instrument. This is called Moeller Method of drumming.

The snare drum was commonly used to relay orders to soldiers such as for meal assemblies, wake-up calls, and quarter lineups. The famous song entitled Three Camps was used for waking American troops and The Fatigue was for ordering the soldiers to guard the quarters.

Its head was primarily made of calf hide. Marion Evans invented the plastic drum head in 1956.

Parts

The basic parts of the snare drum are the rim, head, drumsticks, snare switch, tension screws, snares, and stand.

The rim is the circular edge or lining where the head and other parts of the snare drum are attached. The head is the stretched animal skin or mylar plastic which produces sound when struck with the drumsticks. The tensions screws were developed to securely and more firmly hold the snares which gives a brighter and more solid sound. The stand is optional. You may mount the snare drum on the stand or carry it with a strap. The stand has an effect on the sound so don’t attach the stand basket compactly against the drums hoops. This stops the shell and hoop from vibrating properly and controls the natural sound of the snare drum.


Variations in construction

In choosing snare drum, you should consider which musical genre you would like to play so that you would match this with the right construction. The material of the snare drum has a huge effect on sound production. Brass snare drums add an especially sharp edge and also are rich with soft overtones. It produces clear sounds and very loud rimshots with aluminum while it gives quite a distinct ring and brighter sound with steel.

Snare drums with a smaller diameter have higher pitch and those that are longer have more shell resonance and power. This instrument regularly has a diameter of 14 inches.

Playing the snare drum

The snare drum is played by striking using a drumstick or another kind of beater. The drummer may choose to strike the head, the rim, or the shell. If you strike
the head, a cracking sound is produced because the bottom head is against which the snares vibrate. The snares could be controlled with a lever placed on the strainer so that the sound produced will only be like a tom-tom.

A technique called rim shots is used when one stick strikes the rim and head simultaneously. The renowned drum-roll is done by lightly hitting the sticks on the head in a rapid alternating method.

 

The word Clarinet is derived from the Italian word clarino meaning trumpet with the suffix –et which means little. Thus, the name clarinet or little trumpet. In jazz, it is also called liquorice stick. A person who plays it is a clarinetist.

The Clarinet is usually wooden and vertically played. It has a wider bore which has a single reed and this, when activated, vibrates against a removable mouthpiece. Traditionally, the wood used is granadilla wood from South America, Africa, or Asia. Nowadays, it is most common as a B-flat clarinet which is about sixty centimeters in length.

Lineage

Its roots can be traced back to the Middle Ages where single-reeds or hornpipes were used in Europe and in the Middle East. The contemporary clarinet was from the chalumeau, an instrument likened to the recorder but with a single-reed.

It lacked a register key so, on the 1800’s, it was modified and one of the keys became a register key. This gave rise to the clarinet. It was primarily known as the clarinetto. Some say that the inventor was Jacob Denner while some claim that it was his father, Johann Christoph Denner.

What does a clarinet need?

Superior equipment is very important for the clarinet as it is for other instruments. The most important equipment of the clarinet is the mouthpiece. Of course, it is where air is blown into to produce music. Aside from that, it contains and controls the reed. Although they may have the same raw materials and the same method of manufacture, no two mouthpieces are alike so choosing the mouthpiece is very crucial.

Second is the state of the clarinet and third is the reed. As we all know, any musical instrument which is not at the right state will not play right or will not play at all. The reed is also very important because it is the part that vibrates and causes the production of sound. The clarinet itself comes in fourth.

Construction of clarinets

The clarinet is a closed cylindrical air passage which has an opening in the shape of a bell at one end. It has mouthpiece with a single reed which is made of cane. The reed should be at least three millimeters in thickness and around sixty-nine millimeters long for the clarinets in the United States. The clarinet body is normally made of wood. The B-flat clarinet has a three-octave range and is around sixty centimeters long while bass clarinets are ninety-four centimeters.

Common music genres with clarinets
The clarinet is an essential element of the customary orchestral instrumentation in classical music. To showcase the clarinet, a lot of chamber music and clarinet concertos were made such as those by Mozart. The one of the most common practices is the use of different kinds of the instrument to have a colorful variety but it is also widely used in solos for classics.

In the early jazz, the clarinet was a vital instrument and it remained famous in the time of the big band. It was used by swing clarinetist like Artie Shaw and also by jazz musicians namely Alcide Nunez and Louis Nelson Delisle. But as the big bands’ popularity faded, so did the clarinets central position in jazz.

It was also used in pop and rock music. Its diversity in the sound production gave it a chance on many genres. It could produce a softer or a louder volume which would make it able to create varied beats and melodies. An example in the pop and rock would be the clarinet trio in When I’m Sixty-Four by The Beatles.