Go to the Home Page of Historical Folk Toys Catalog Continuation Page See Our Best Sellers

.

Catalog Navigation Legend

.
Page One
Kazoo
Jew's Harp (Jaw Harp)
Bamboo Flute
Little Bamboo Flute
Page Two
Harmonica in C
Plastic Recorder in C
Ocarina in C
Plastic Fife in C
.

 

.
Page Three
Brass Fife in B Flat
Penny Whistle in D
Lithographed Field Drum
Americana Field Drum
Page Four
Claves
Box Shaker
One-Octave Xylophone
Finger Cymbals
.

 

.
Other Sections
Early Education
Classic Toys & Puzzles
Traditional Games
Home Crafts
Historical Doll Kits
Native American
Historical Books
Music Books
Index of Catalog Listings
.

Lithographed Field Drum

.

Continued from product description on Folk Instruments' Page Three...

Historical Background: Drums are among the most ancient and widespread of all musical instruments. They are found in all the primitive cultures known to man. A Sumerian vase from the third millennium B.C. depicts a man-sized drum. The oldest surviving drums are Egyptian and date back to 1800 B.C. In literature, Chinese poems from around 1135 B.C. mention the playing of drums.

Drums migrated from China to Europe via Greece, where use of the "tympanon" was restricted to the Cybele and Dionysus cults. The earliest evidence of playing a drum in Europe is a 12th-century miniature depicting a juggler dressed as a bear and striking his hands on a barrel drum hung around his neck. A 13th-century Spanish miniature shows a performer playing an hourglass drum. It is thought that such forms were probably imported to Europe from China during the Crusades.

Before 1300 A.D., Arabians developed small kettledrums that were used in pairs called the "nagarah" (or "naqqarah"). Such drums were called "nacaires" in France, "naccheroni" in Italy, and "nakers" in England. The cylindrical drum appeared about the same time under the name "tabor." Other names for tabor are "tambour" (French), and "tamburo" (Italian).

According to manuscripts and paintings, it was King Henry VII who brought what is called the "rope tension drum" to England in the late 15th century. If one wished to own such a drum, he had to first get a license from the king. And even if one was lucky enough to obtain a royal license, he could only play "approved" military beatings, such as the "English March."

Today's marching and orchestral drums are descendants of rope tension drums. The construction of a rope tension drum consists of a shell (body), two calfskin drumheads, two wooden hoops, leather ears, and a cotton rope. Tension on the head of the drum is achieved by lacing several yards of rope through the ears which are attached to the hoops (rims). When the rope is tightened, the ears and hoops are pulled to the center of the shell.

The rope tension drum is also known as a "side drum." This is because the player (drummer) carries the drum to his side to allow for walking and playing at the same time. The drum is attached to a sling which is slung over the player's shoulder. The traditional grip of the drumsticks came about due to the angle of the drum head when carried in this manner. (This is still the preferred grip used by today's drum corps.)

Another name given to the rope tension drum is "field drum." The word "field" comes from the use of the drum on fields of battle. Field drums were used to help soldiers keep cadence with beats. They are thought to also have been used to communicate commands to the troops with signals. There is some question as to the validity of this, however. Some suggest it would have been unwise to signal troops in any manner that would also tell the enemy what to expect. Nevertheless, drum calls were used to relay commands of officers by the types of beats played.

From the time of King Henry VII until the late-19th century, rope tension drums have been an important part of military life and logistics. In Europe, drums have since been closely associated with royal ceremonies. Elsewhere, drums have played a prominent role in military and political ceremonies.

Present-day use of the terms "drum" and "tabor" refer to how a drum is played and accompanied by a pipe (fife). The difference between "fife and drum" and "pipe and tabor" is the number of players. A pipe-and-tabor player is a single person playing both instruments. A fife and drum ensemble is when two or more performers play one of these instruments.

Fun Fact: Rope tension drums used free-floating technology centuries before today's popular free-floater snare drums.

For more information about the historical use of drums, please see our Plastic Fife in C (5104) and Brass Fife in B Flat (5201) for their historical backgrounds.

Would you like to return to the previous page or go to the next product description?

The above info is copyrighted by Historical Folk Toys, LLC and has been properly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
All rights reserved. Any reprint or reuse -- in any form or by any means -- is strictly prohibited without our written permission.
.

Lithographed Field Drum
Lithographed Field Drum
Item Number 5401

Return to Previous Page

.
Would you like to return to the previous page or go to the next product description?
.

Go to the Next Product Description

Site Navigation Legend

.
Product Catalog
Early Education ~ Classic Toys & Puzzles ~ Traditional Games ~ Home Crafts
Historical Doll Kits ~ Folk Instruments ~ Native American ~ Historical Books
Music Books ~ Index of Catalog Listings ~ Alphabetical & Numerical Listings
Products by Periods Guide ~ Origins of Our Products

General Information
New Products ~ Our Best Sellers ~ About the Elves ~ Our Scrapbook
Affiliations ~ Wholesale Terms ~ Catalog Request ~ Green Policies
.

Go to Top of Page
Go to Site Map

.

Go to the Home Page of Historical Folk Toys Wholesale Only
Read about the Elves at Historical Folk Toys
Address Symbol
10100 Park Cedar Drive, Suite 134 City and State Symbol Charlotte, NC 28210 USA
Phone Symbol
(800) 871-1984 Fax Symbol (800) 871-1899 E-mail Symbol info at historicalfolktoys.com
Call (704) 543-0204 or fax to (704) 543-0205 if dialing locally or from outside the USA.
Home Page Symbol Home Page Privacy Policy Symbol Privacy Policy Wholesale Conditions Symbol Contact Information Legal Notices Symbol Legal Notices Site Map Symbol Site Map
Web Site Content: Copyright © 2004-present by Historical Folk Toys, LLC et al. Web
Site Design: Copyright © 1996-present by Beeline Publications. All rights reserved.
See Our Best Sellers

Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. No part of this Web site may be published, stored or transmitted -- in any form or by any means
-- without written permission from Julie at Historical Folk Toys, LLC. Copyright violation may result in costly fines for you or your
organization. Getting permission is easy. Getting out of legal trouble is not! Please take a few minutes to read about copyrights &
how they apply to you and the material you find on the Internet: U.S. Copyright Office and "10 Copyright Myths Explained."