How Marching Percussion Evolved Into The Trapset (drumset).Feb 20, 2023
The evolution of the modern trap set from marching percussion is a fascinating journey that spans more than a century. It is a story of creativity, innovation, and ingenuity as drummers and percussionists experimented with different combinations of instruments to create a versatile kit that could be used in a variety of musical settings.
The origins of the trap set can be traced back to the late 1800s when drummers in military bands and marching bands started adding bass drums and cymbals to their percussion setups. The first notable innovation was the addition of a bass drum pedal, which allowed drummers to play the bass drum with their foot while keeping their hands free to play other instruments. The bass drum pedal was patented by William F. Ludwig Sr. in 1909, and it became an essential component of the modern drum set.
Another key innovation was the introduction of the snare drum as a primary instrument in the drum set. Originally used in military bands, the snare drum became a staple of the drum set in the early 1900s when drummers began adding it to their setups. The snare drum provided a versatile sound that could be used in a variety of musical genres, from jazz and blues to rock and roll.
The development of the drum set was driven by several factors, including the need for drummers to play multiple instruments in a variety of musical settings. As music became more diverse and complex, drummers needed a kit that could accommodate different genres and playing styles. The drum set provided this versatility, allowing drummers to adapt to different musical situations and play a wide range of rhythms and patterns.
One of the most famous drum brands of all time is Ludwig, which was founded in 1909 by William F. Ludwig Sr. and his brother, Theobald Ludwig. Ludwig became known for its high-quality drums and innovative designs, including the introduction of the bass drum pedal. Other famous drum brands include Gretsch, Rogers, and Slingerland, all of which played a role in the evolution of the modern drum set.
Some of the most famous drummers of all time have helped shape the evolution of the drum set. One of the earliest drummers to gain fame was Gene Krupa, who became known for his explosive solos and showmanship. Krupa was a key figure in the development of swing music, and he helped popularize the drum set as a solo instrument. Other famous drummers include Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, and Tony Williams, all of whom pushed the boundaries of what was possible on the drum set.
Cozy Cole, Ole South, Washington, D.C
One of the most famous performances in the history of the drum set was the drum battle between Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich in 1952. The performance, which took place at the Paramount Theatre in New York City, showcased the incredible speed and technique of both drummers and helped to popularize the drum set as a solo instrument. The performance was recorded and released as an album, which became a classic of the jazz drumming genre.
1960's - 1990's.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the drum set underwent another evolution as drummers began to experiment with new sounds and playing techniques. This period saw the introduction of electronic drums and drum machines, which added a new dimension to the drum set. Some of the most influential drummers of this period include Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, John Bonham, and Neil Peart, all of whom pushed the limits of what was possible on the drum set.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the drum set continued to evolve as drummers experimented with new styles and techniques. This period saw the emergence of drummers such as Dave Grohl, Stewart Copeland, and Carter Beauford, all of whom brought a new level of creativity and innovation to the drum set. The 21st century has seen the drum set continue to evolve and adapt to new musical styles and technologies. The rise of hip-hop and electronic dance music has led to a renewed interest in electronic drums and drum machines, which are now an essential part of many modern productions. At the same time, acoustic drum sets continue to be a staple of live performances and recordings, with drummers pushing the boundaries of what is possible on the instrument.
One of the most famous recordings in the history of the drum set is "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly, which was released in 1968. The song features an extended drum solo by drummer Ron Bushy, which helped to popularize the drum set as a solo instrument. The song has since become a classic of the rock and roll genre and is often cited as one of the most influential drum recordings of all time.
Awards & Accolades.
The drum set has also been recognized with several awards and accolades over the years. In 1983, the Percussive Arts Society established the Hall of Fame to honor the most influential percussionists of all time, including drummers who have made significant contributions to the development of the drum set. Some of the drummers inducted into the Hall of Fame include Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, and Tony Williams.
The drum set has come a long way since its origins in marching percussion, and its evolution continues to this day. From the early innovations of the bass drum pedal and the snare drum to the latest advances in electronic drums and drum machines, the drum set remains an essential component of modern music. The drum set has enabled drummers to express themselves in new and creative ways, and it has played a vital role in shaping the sound of popular music over the past century.