Side Drum


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684

Side drums were the most important instrument in the infantry of European armies. They were used in the field to signal to troops and to provide cadences for marching armies. This drum was worn on a sling to the player’s side, hence its name. Snares, or cords, strung across the bottom head rattled when the drum was played and gave it a characteristic buzzing sound. This drum survives with two eighteenth century in a brass carrier. There is also a leather sling with a brass hook for carrying the drum.

Technical description: Brass shell, tab seam, top and bottom edges rounded over towards interior of the drum. Rope tension with ten leather tugs. Wooden counter hoops painted painted withtriangles of red, white and blue. Ten drilled holes in each rim through which the rope passes. Brass, j-hook snare adjuster mounted vertically, parallel to the shell. Calfskin heads. Two gut snares held opposite the strainer by a leather strap.

Side Drum, Wood, skin, cord, Dutch

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