YEAR “0” OF THE DRUMKIT
The invention of the drumkit is best indicated with the introduction of the pedal for the patented case put on the market by the Ludwig brothers in 1909, thanks to which a single person could in this way manage more “drums”. Before that, the drumkit was not conceived as a single instrument, but many people who each played a different piece, usually in band performances to accompany funerals, who the big box, who the snare drum, who the cymbals and who some percussions.
This need to make all these instruments converge into a single person was given above all by reasons of space. Up until that point the performances were mainly on the street with large orchestras, while at a certain point it was preferred to organize indoor concerts inside the clubs and therefore to be able to save space by allowing only one person to manage these instruments has become an excellent solution.
CASE AND SNARE DRUM
The first pairing was between the case and the snare drum, to which the plates were added, to create high-pitched sounds that overlapped the heavy sound of the drums. Later the American multi-ethnicity made its fundamental contribution, in fact, each ethnic group had its version of the drumkit, so the Chinese used small-diameter drums that later became the toms, the Turks perfected the processing of alloys in the plates, inventing those that are the current dishes, with their characteristics of resistance and sonority.
We mentioned the invention of the pedal for the case, which was a revolution in this area. It must be said, however, that originally the case was played by simply kicking, and it is from here that it derives its name in English kick-drum.
JAZZ IS COMING
Over the years, the evolution of the instrument was in step with the evolution of styles and musical genres. Since the 1930s the demands of the first musical ensembles and jazz musicians have greatly influenced the evolution of drums, and a fundamental role was played as already mentioned by the fusion of different cultures. So they began to have previously unknown sound requirements, such as the membranes on the toms, which until then were fixed, were replaced with tie rods to allow tuning to be adjusted according to requirements.
The first collaborations were born between the greatest musical exponents of the time and the manufacturers. It was in 1936 that Buddy Rich became the first endorser of Slingerland.
AND IN ITALY?
In Italy the drums made their first appearances in the 30s, thanks to the echo of the great drummers, in addition to the aforementioned Buddy Rich there was also the great Gene Krupa and therefore the drums are officially recognized also in Italy as a single instrument, indispensable in commercial music and worthy of academic studies.
In the 1940s the diameter of the case decreased and increased its depth to meet the sonic needs of the time.
WORLD WAR II
During the Second World War, the US government set limits for the use of metals such as brass and steel on non-essential materials. Many manufacturers than found themselves having to adapt by building the rims with materials such as walnut and rosewood.
HIS MAJESTY REMO BELLI
In the 1950s the use of plates became of primary importance, as did the modern use of the pedal plate (hi-hat or charleston). The hides, until then made of animal tissue, were revolutionized thanks to a boy, son of Italian immigrants, Remo Belli who patented the first synthetic leather in Mylar, a polyester film developed for military purposes, but then gradually adapted for civil use. The launch of these skins and the consequent advertising campaign were great for the time. To convince even the most skeptical Belli realized a very large skin, which was naturally impossible with animal skins. It was immediately a success and Remo was born. The manufacturing industries thus began to manufacture drumkits in series, equipped in the same way, thus conditioning anyone approaching this instrument.
From then on it was all a crescendo of technological research and marketing, diversified tuning was born, research on wood, on the alloys of the dishes. Resonant leathers and advanced hardware were born, the finishes improved and began to be influenced by fashions.
The modern drumkit was born.