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The Snare Drum

The side drum or snare drum is the smallest of the cylindrical drums and is found in practically in practically every type of western music from military music (where its roots lie) to jazz or the drum kits of rock and pop.


In 15th century, the drums is produced and designed to be large and louder to meet the changing requirements of military drums. It is so large that it is designed to attached to astrap over the drummer’s shoulder or tied a belt around his waist. The widely known “swiss” drums became the model for drum-makers all over Europe.

The first drum related to the snare drum was created in Medieval Europe around 1300. This was called the Tabor. The Tabor was a double-headed drum that only had one snare drum strand across the bottom of the instrument. The Tabor started to become much more popular in the 1400s.

The snare drum is also known as the side drum because it was originally played in military bands where it hung at drummer’s left hip and was beaten from the side - as indeed it still is in marching bands today.










The material that is used on in the snare drum is usually metal or wood, more rarely plywood or plastic. The head or skin usually calfskin (which is commonly used in orchestra) or plastic. The bottom of the instrument has a snare with 8-18 strings of gut, metal, wound nylon or silk. Every snare has a tensioning mechanism which is on the side of the snare drum. It is a snare release lever to tighten or lift off the snares.

The invention of the plastic drumhead is credited to a drummer named Marion "Chick" Evans, who made the first plastic drumhead in 1956.


- Vienna Symphonic Library

- Yamaha

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