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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 : - Instruments-Percussion
Page read 43526 times


Classical period

The Music "Classic" includes music written by agreement between the death of Johann Sebastian Bach is 1750 and the beginning of the Romantic period or the 1820s. By extension, called  "classical music" all european art music, music from the Renaissance to contemporary music. It is therefore necessary to separate the classical music, composers whose headlights are Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and classical music opposed to popular music in the West or elsewhere (referred to "Indian classical music," for example).

Dante Agostini

Dante Agostini is a French drummer and teacher of Italian origin, born in 1921 in Mercatellio, Italy and died in 1980.
He is known for having founded, in 1965, the drum school that bears his name, originally called drum school Dante Agostini - Kenny Clark.
Within this school, he developed the method of learning the most complete instrument, from beginner to professional. It currently has more than twenty-five booklets and three CDs. These are the methods most widely sold in the world.
He also systematized a partition system that allows any drummer to accurately interpret a composition (indicated fingering, uniformity of symbols and their locations on the score). As a drummer he played with, among others, Jacques Hellian, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Luis Mariano, Charles Trenet and Tino Rossi.

Harmonics of a sound

A sound wave is characterized physically by its frequency of vibration and it is measured in Hertz (number of vibrations per second). For example, the "A3" has a frequency of 440 Hz higher the frequency, the higher the sound is high. At heights (and thus frequencies) identical sounds emitted by two different instruments (eg violin and flute) do not resonate in the same way. Each is characterized by its so-called stamp that identifies it, that no translation of his nature is really simple: it follows from the combination of its primary or basic, which sets the frequency perceived by the ear and a large number of harmonics whose relative weights determine precisely its timbre.

The jazz

The jazz is a music type born in the United States at the beginning of the XXth century. Existent of the crossroads of the blues, the ragtime and European music, the jazz is considered to be the first specific musical form to have developed in the United States.

Michael Stephen Portnoy

Aka Mike Portnoy Michael Stephen Portnoy is the drummer of American progressive metal band Dream Theater.
Born April 20, 1967 in Long Beach near New York, he was quickly immersed in the world of music by his father who was a Disc Jockey.
Very early he developed a passion for rock. He listened to bands like Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, U2, Queen, Yes, Metallica and the Beatles and Rush play in which his most important references: Neil Peart, Ringo Starr.


The rythm

The rhythm is in music, which determines the duration of notes to each other. The rhythm, melody, tempo and nuance are the four main facts to characterize a given musical phrase.

The rimshot

On Rimshot (from (en) rim, "circle" and shot, "shooting" or, in the literal "(sound of) shot") is a technique of striking the drum on the snare drum at the same time the skin in order to obtain a more brilliant and incisive. It can also be applied to the toms. This technique is often confused with the cross-stick (of () cross, "cross" "across" and stick, "wand"), which is to apply the stick against the skin in order to muffle the sound and mitigate the resonance. It then raises only the tip of the stick to hit the circle, the distance between the olive and the circle will vary the height of the score. The sound is like a metronome click of highly amplified, similar to that of slaves struck against each other.

The Rock

The rock is a genre of popular music that began in the 1960s.
The genre has its roots in rock 'n' roll, rhythm and blues, country, 1940s and 1950s as well as in folk music, jazz and classical music. It is characterized by a dominant vocal melody, often accompanied by one (or more) electric guitar, bass guitar and drums, but can also be accompanied by synth / piano, brass or other instruments.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, rock developed a number of sub-genres. It was blended with folk music, (which gave the folk rock), with the blues (blues rock) and jazz (jazz-rock fusion).
In the 1970s, rock was influenced by soul, funk, and Latin music. Also during the 1970s, rock developed many sub-genres like soft rock, glam rock, heavy metal, hard rock, progressive rock, and punk rock.

Among the sub-genres of rock that emerged during the 1980s there is the new wave, hardcore punk and alternative rock.
During the 1990s, the new sub-genres include rock grunge and Britpop, indie rock, and nu metal.

A group of musicians specializing in rock is called a rock band. Most rock bands are composed of an electric guitarist, a lead singer, a bassist and a drummer, forming a quartet. Some groups omit one or more of these roles include a singer or playing an instrument, even as he sings, forming a trio or duo; others include additional musicians such as one or two rhythm guitarist or a keyboardist. Less commonly, groups also utilize stringed instruments like violins or cellos, wind instruments like a saxophone, brass or instruments such as trumpets or trombones.

More recently, the term rock was used as a generic term including forms like pop music, soul and even hip hop, with whom he is often opposed. [One] The Rock has become a "philosophy "with its cultural dominance, film comics through fashionable clothing.

Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips, born Feb. 6, 1957 in London, is a British drummer.
It has quickly established itself as a drummer. In fact, he wanted to play drums at the age of 3 years but has only really played the age of 5 years on a small Blue Pearl. Then it was sponsored by the brand Tama at the age of 12 years. He made the studio recordings with the group his father "The Dixieland Band".


Terry John Bozzio

John Terry Bozzio is a drummer and percussionist American born in San Francisco (California) December 27, 1950.
Classically trained, he then proceeded to rock while maintaining a very personal style and sophistication.
He was particularly outstanding as a drummer for Frank Zappa, he played the famous score The Black Page, known as a nightmare for musicians.
It is also distinguished by its huge set-ups, including many with stacked cymbals and tuned percussion that enable it to produce a virtuoso playing of great delicacy.



In western music, the word means a tone scale music belonging to the tonal system.

  • Caught in a broad sense, the word "tone" can refer to the tonal system as a whole.
  • The word can also take the direction of height, its fundamental to some instruments.
  • The word tone can be used as a synonym for tone.

A tone is defined as the set of intervals, melodic and harmonic as well, between hierarchical levels of a given scale compared to its fundamental level, called tonic. A tone is characterized by both the tonic and its mode.
Each key is constructed from the diatonic scale.

The tone is also a means to locate a musical instrument in relation to C reference.
The flute, violin or piano are in C, that is to say that when the C is played, it really means to do. The B-flat trumpet sounded really flat so when playing a do. The horn (in F) is heard when playing an F do.

The tone is very important because it will allow transposition and transcription of partitions in C in tones of instruments with different pitches.

Some instruments and their tone:

  • Ut: Piano, strings, flutes and piccolo, oboe, bassoon, C trumpet, trombone, tuba, bass tuba.
  • D flat: the old piccolos.
  • Re: Trumpet in D.
  • Eb: alto saxophone and baritone, small bugle, horn in E flat, alto (small tuba), clarinet, bass tuba.
  • F: Cor.
  • Sol: Trumpet in G.
  • The: Oboe d'amore, the trumpet.
  • Bb: soprano saxophone, tenor tuba (euphonium and baritone), B-flat trumpet, flugelhorn, clarinet, bass tuba (bombardon).

Arthur James Singleton

Arthur James Singleton known by the nickname Zutty Singleton (born 14 May 1898 in Bunkie, Louisiana, died July 14, 1975 in New York City) was a jazz drummer.