Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/478

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

or brass cylinder with a skin or head at each end. The skins are lapped round a small hoop, a larger hoop pressing this down. The two large hoops are connected by an endless cord, passing zigzag from hoop to hoop. This cord is tightened by means of leather braces a, b, b. It is slackest when they are all as at a, and tightest when as at b, b. This is called a Side-drum, and is struck

Page 466 (A Dictionary of Music and Musicians-Volume 1).jpg

in the centre of the upper head by two sticks of hard wood, ending in a small elongated knob. Across the lower head several cords of catgut, called snares, are stretched, which rattle against it at every stroke. The roll (nick-named 'daddy-mammy') is made by alternately striking two blows with the left hand and two with the right, very regularly and rapidly, so as to produce one continuous tremolo. It is not easy to do, and must be learned at an early age.

Some side-drums are made much flatter, and are tightened by rods and screws instead of cords.

In orchestras the side-drum is frequently used (and abused) by modern composers. But in the overtures to 'La Gazza Ladra' and 'Fra Diavolo,' the subjects of both being of a semi-military nature, the effect is characteristic and good.

Side-drums are used in the army for keeping time in marching and for various calls, both in barracks and in action. In action, however, bugle-calls are now usually substituted:—

The Drummers' Call.

The Sergeants' and Corporals' Call.

Commence Firing.

Cease Firing.

The above are examples of drum calls used in the British army; the next is 'La Retraite,' beaten every evening in French garrison towns.

The effect of this is very good when, as may be heard in Paris, it is beaten by twenty-eight drummers. For Berlioz has well observed that a sound, insignificant when heard singly, such as the clink of one or two muskets at 'shoulder arms' or the thud as the butt-end comes to the ground at 'ground arms,' becomes brilliant and attractive if performed by a thousand men simultaneously.

The Tenor-drum is similar to the side-drum, only larger, and has no snares. It serves for rolls in military bands instead of kettle-drums.

The French Tambourin is similar to the last, but very narrow and long. It is used in Provence for dance music. The performer holds it in the same hand as his flageolet (which has only three holes) and beats it with a stick held in the other hand. Auber has used the tambourin in the overture to 'Le Philtre.'

The Bass-drum (Fr. Grosse Caisse, Ital. Gran Cassa or Gran Tamburo) has also two heads, and is played with one stick ending in a soft round knob. It must be struck in the centre of one of the heads. It used to be called the long-drum, and was formerly (in England at least) made long in proportion to its diameter. But now the diameter is increased and the length of the cylinder lessened. The heads are tightened by cords and braces like the side-drum first described, or by rods and screws, or on Cornelius Ward's principle as described for kettle-drums. It is used in military bands and orchestras. There is another sort of bass-drum called a Gong-drum, from its form, which is similar to a gong or to a gigantic tambourine. It is very convenient in orchestras where space is scarce; but it is inferior to the ordinary bass-drum in quality of tone. These instruments do not require tuning, as their sound is sufficiently indefinite to suit any key or any chord. [See Tam-tam.]

Cymbals generally play the same part as the bass-drum; though occasionally, as in the first Allegro of the overture to 'Guillaume Tell,' the bass-drum part is senza piatti (without the cymbals).

[ V. de P. ]

DRURY LANE, opened in 1696 under the name of the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane; materially altered and enlarged in 1762 and 1763; pulled down in the summer of 1791; the new theatre opened (for plays) April 21, 1794; burned Feb. 24, 1809; rebuilt and opened Oct. 10, [1]1812. Among the eminent composers who have been connected with this theatre must, in the first place, be mentioned Dr. Arne, who,

  1. This opening, for which the address was written by Lord Byron, gave occasion to the 'Rejected Addresses' of James and Horace Smith.