Snare drums are part of every drum set today. The snare drum can trace its ancestry to the double-headed tabor drums used during the medieval period.
Then. In the 16th century these double-headed drums cam...
Later they became the field drums of the American and European armies when army drummers hit the drums with a mallet or wooden sticks to generate an indefinite pitch.
The body of this two-headed drum is made of a hollow metal or wooden frame with a calf skin or membrane stretched tightly across the head. The top head of the drum is called the batter head, and is the surface that a drummer hits with his drumsticks.
The bottom head is called the snare head. It has eight to ten catgut or metal wires called snares stretched tightly across the surface. The snares rattle or vibrate against the bottom head, producing the drum's characteristic rattling sound.
The great thing about these drums is that they are not tuned. That is why they end up producing an indefinite pitch.
Among the leading music companies that have made these drums an important part of their drum kits are Yamaha, Tama, and Ludwig. Several lead drummers have leant their name to development of special snares including Tico Torres, Eric Singer and Ian Paice.
Before they became a part of the drum kit snares were also called side drums. But they were not as effective as today's two-headed drums.
Snares are used to create different kinds of rhythms but their specialty is the drum roll. No matter how well a rock drummer plays, for most a snare drum roll before a death-defying circus stunt is what they have no equal.
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