History of the DrumThe drum belongs to the percussion family, and according to the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system, it is a membranophone. The composition of the instrument include at least one membrane which is called drum head or skin, the actual material that is stretched over a shell and then hit to make a sound. The contact between the user’s hand or a stick and the membrane is what produces the sound. Techniques and sounds vary depending on a number of factors including the item used to strike the membrane, the fabric and size of the membrane, and the material of the shell. The drum is the world’s oldest and most diverse instrument with a unique design that has withheld the test of time.

Drums are used across the world for creating many different types of music and serving many different musical purposes. The instrument is diverse in its function and sound, and drums can be played individually or in a group. A number of different types of drums and sounds combined with a cymbal form the basic modern drum kit that we are familiar with today.

The history of the drums dates all the way back to 4000 BC in ancient Egypt. The history of this instrument is difficult to follow, but there is evidence of drums made out of alligator skins that were found in Neolithic cultures within China between 5500 and 2350 B.C. It is speculated that drums were used in ritual ceremonies and often served a spiritual purpose. The actual purpose of the drums, rituals and ceremonies that it was part of varied from culture to culture, and country to country. The diversity of the drums is what makes it hard to follow in terms of its history. Even today, the drum exists in different cultures for different reasons and serving different musical purposes.