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The battery

The battery

The battery is a set of drums, cymbals and other percussion instruments used most genres of contemporary music to mark the rhythm . With the bass guitar, bass or drums, the battery is part of the rhythm section of an orchestra or a band.


The battery has emerged in the early XXth century. The main constituent elements (kick drum, snare drum, cymbals ,...) already existed within orchestras classical and military bands. The appearance of the battery (as a combination of these various instruments) is directly related to the birth of jazz and the various technological developments in the early XXth century. So the first batteries were they called "jazz", named after the style of music that gave them birth.

Its root cause is multicultural and ancient: the snare drum (1850) and the bass drum (XVIIth century) are of European origin. The cymbals are from the East and are probably one of the oldest instruments in the world. Thus the first traces of objects similar to cymbals back to third millennium BC. J.-C., in India. The toms, in turn, are rooted in Amerindian and African percussion and were probably invented in the same period as the terracotta vases. The "hat" that worked to its present form by jazz in the 1920s, comes from a percussion instrument dating from Roman Antiquity: scabellum.

With the evolution of the style of New Orleans, the battery knows its true development, especially through drummers like Zutty Singleton . Since the battery, which was at the time that the assembly of a bass drum, a snare and a cymbal, has a lot more complex.

Composition of a standard battery and variants

Details of a battery.

The following are mostly part of a battery, a variable number (the numbers correspond to the elements of the picture):

Cymbals (yellow in color, base alloy of bronze) are:

  • charleston, hihat or hi-hat (5);
  • the crash cymbal (6, right);
  • ride cymbal (6 left);
  • other cymbals are "standardized" (they are not represented on the image): splash cymbal and cymbal china.

There are other instruments not represented: crash-ride, gong, cowbell, tambourine, etc..

The snare is located in the middle, between the legs of the drummer (3). However one second snare (or more) may be added, mostly to the left of the hat stand for right-handers, and vice versa for left to right. When it is thinner, with a drum to a depth of less than 4", it is called piccolo snare. When small diameter, usually 10" or 12" is a soprano or sopranino snare.

The toms are most usually numbering two or three (with tom medium, but there is no limit):

  • tom tom alto or small (4, right) and the tom tom medium or medium (4, left), above the bass drum;
  • the floor tom, the worst (2), usually on the feet.
  • other types of Toms exist: like the snare, toms there piccolo (small and thin), but also rocket toms (small and quite deep) or rototoms still at its very dry.

The bass drum is laid on the ground (1). There are bass drum raiser for small dimensions (eg the "Manu Katche" Yamaha)

The accessories are generally composed of a single bass drum pedal, double or even triple, a Charleston pedal, a foot snare drum and cymbal feet.

The factors that can be regularly found on modern batteries, you can also include:

  • Chinese cymbal (or china): traditionally curved edges give it a serious tone, with heartbreaking and very few harmonics for the fall after the fishing-pole-is immediate. Its diameter ranges from 16 "to 22", sometimes up to 24". Mini china There are, however, less than 16" in diameter.
  • ride cymbal can be drilled to attach rivets (or scissors). This results in a higher vibration that fills the space when the drummer accompanies a slow blues or jazz ballad for example. Its diameter normally varies between 18" and 22" Sabian in the mark, however small models proposed about 10".
  • other toms with different diameters - typically 6" to 18", sometimes supplemented by a set of rototoms - or snare with or without a stamp.
  • a second large box, possibly replaced by a double bass drum pedal to make bearings with both feet or any other syncopated figure. This technique is widely used in styles metal, hardcore, grunge, hard rock, and in certain styles of punk.
  • various small percussion instruments: bells, Chimes, Wood Block, Tambourine (sometimes fixed on the stem of Charleston) and sometimes a tom-tom or set of gongs.

Some batteries may have very complex many toms and cymbals as well as several additional big boxes. To support it all, tubular frame (rack) can be used. This frame can be particularly impressive, as the drummer Terry Bozzio . Some drummers have made the complexity of their battery a real trademark, the image of Mike Portnoy and Simon Phillips of Toto.

Reading score

On a partition in the treble clef: - In the form of notes: The DO is the sharp snare; The D major is the bass drum, the tom is the high G sharp, acute Mi represents tom medium; The low F represents the floor tom - Sub crosshair: The DO is the acute Rim shot, the high G is either the cymbal or the Charleston, The cross above the staff represents the crash cymbal; The D major is the hat walk ; The high G (cross surrounded by a circle) represents the opening of Charleston

However, the position of the notes may change from one partition to another. Thus, for example on partitions Dante Agostini , the snare will, for a range in treble clef, placed on the B

The score of battery is different from the piano or the violin, because it does not use the same notes but still has a key. The note represents a sound, because every accessory that you type, has a tone different. The score also has five lines (the kind worn Dante Agostini). The pounding on the cymbals are represented by crosses, above the top line. Each has its own cross, we distinguish the open and closed hi-hat. The toms are represented acute on routes with the highest round (like notes "usual"), and the floor tom but it is down. The snare is represented by a circle in the center, or a cross whether the game is done rimshot . The accents and other nuances are like on the other partitions.

The ratings differ partitions: some one adds a few instruments like the triangle or the chimes. There are also other types of litters with one or two lines. The battery is an instrument that is not really strict musical notation but increasingly, it is the kind of notation Dante Agostini is used. Of all methods of battery, there is a legend which attributes to each symbol (triangle, circle, square, etc..) An instrument to hit and possibly an indication of the type of hit to apply to it.

The electronic battery


There are also drum machines, with which we play on pads, rubber, or imitation leather (skin mesh, mesh or mesh) reproducing more or less the feel of an acoustic drum, but without producing the volume important because the sound can be heard using an audio headset, which can practice without disturbing those around him. Another advantage of electronic drums is to precisely configure the sound produced by each Pad, which lets you play with different kits without having to buy new equipment. These batteries are also easier to transport because once the rack folded, they are less important than acoustic drums. This type of battery, once very expensive, has in recent years, in addition to rates of more interesting, more performance and more advanced: The Rimshot are managed and gaming experience to approach closer sensations procured by an acoustic drum.

(Source: - copyright authors - article under GFDL)

Creation date : 05/02/2009 21:52
Category : Files - Instruments-Percussion
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