The snare drum is a member of the percussion family. There are several percussion instruments, including the timpani, xylophone, bass drum, gong, cymbals and other types of drums. The snare drum in particular, plays a very vital role in music. The unique “buzzing” sound of a snare drum gives it a very unique sound, which makes it very popular to use in several musical groups, including symphony orchestras and marching bands. It also is a great solo instrument. Most college percussion majors are required to perform solos using the snare drum.
The original snare drum can be traced back as early as the 15th Century. It was originally called a tabor and was used with a fife (like a piccolo or flue) in the Swiss military. However, it wasn’t recognized as a symphonic instrument until about 200 years ago, in the early 19th Century.
The snare drum is typically made of wood or metal with a drum head stretched across the top and bottom of its hollow metal frame. A set of curled metal wires strung across the bottom of the drum, called the snare, rattles when the top of the drum is struck. This is what gives the snare drum it’s unique sound.