Who Invented the Drum?

Unlike other musical instruments which came into being as the result of the work of one individual or several individuals, the drum has been in existence since the time of earliest man.

Many different kinds of drums have been used all over the world by the most primitive men, many of them races that long ago disappeared from the earth. It is likely that the drum was first used as means of calling together the scattered members of a tribe.

It was a kind of war signal. In time, the drum became part of the music that primitive peoples used in their battles with “evil spirits”.  It had a religious significance to these primitive people.


And since so many of their ceremonies involved dances, the drum furnished a perfect accompaniment. Primitive people used drums made of various materials. Some were hollow tree trunks with animal skins stretched over them.

Bamboo drums were made of long sections of the hollow reed, slit and beaten with sticks. Some people used to beat their own bodies on the ground to produce a drum ike sound.

Drum were commonly used by the ancient Egyptians. The typical Egyptian drum was small and was carried about in the land. The ancient Hebrews also had drums, which were a sort of tambourine, sometimes beaten with the hand sometimes with stick.

The Chinese and Japanese, too, have had drums from the earliest times. The American Red Indians not only used the drums to send messages and to mark time for their dances, but they used drums to predict the weather! When rainy weather approached, the skins that covered their drums would become taut.

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