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"Back in Time" Cymbal Series - Part 1: Hoop Mounted Cymbals

A series on cymbals and how they were incorporated in modern drum sets with host, Kelli Rae Tubbs. This series of history-rich videos discusses the transition of cymbals to their current-day use on the modern drum set, starting with the orchestral and ceremonial use of cymbals and the inventions and innovations that helped in the transition in the early 1800s, starting with counterhoop mounted brackets and, nearly a century later, hand-held wire cymbal beaters.

In the early 1800s, Italian composers, Gaspare Spontini and Giacchino Rossini, encouraged the use of cymbal mounting brackets in their compositions. French composer, Hector Berlioz, on the other hand, felt this practice was counter-productive and that it did not honor the quality of the music, saying it was only suitable for the accompaniment of "low brow" entertainment like sword swallowers and jugglers in his 1844 treatise on orchestration.

The use of bass-drum mounted cymbals ended in the orchestra setting, but lived in marching bands throughout America and Europe and perhaps in other places, too.

A modification to the mounting bracket which allowed the cymbal to change from its inverted position atop the bass drum to a position parallel the playing surface of the bass drum made performing on this combination easier. That improvement was aided by an innovation sold in the 1913 J. W. Pepper catalog called the "Eureka Cymbal Beater" with the main selling point that it would not "tire the arm." No wonder...stamped brass cymbals were heavy!

During an evolution in popular American music at a time before the invention of the bass drum pedal, snare drum stand, or the clanger, a style of performing called "double drumming" emerged. In double drumming, the snare drum rests on a chair and the bass drum is performed with regular drum sticks striking the bass drum head and a counterhoop-mounted cymbal, often simultaneously. In this way, one performer could effectively take on the role of bass drummer, crash cymbal player, and snare drummer, reducing the need for space, reducing the payroll, and making travel easier.

Part 2 uncovers another piece of the puzzle of how cymbals made their way from the orchestra to the rock band. The next video demonstrates the use of an overhang bass drum pedal with a device called a "clanger" and describes their role in the transition.


Kelli Rae Tubbs is a singing drummer and percussionist, as well as a bandleader specializing in 1920s jazz based Minnesota -- the Twin Cities to be more specific.

As a clinician/educator, she has delivered clinics covering the topics of keyboard percussion, improvisation, and the drumming techniques used in early American jazz.

She is a member of the Sabian Education Network and the D'Addario Education Collective and, in July 2016, was appointed to the Scholarly Research Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. She was a preliminary judge in the 2017 "Hit Like a Girl" drumming contest.

Kelli is a regular contributor to "Tom Tom Magazine" and is working to preserve our American musical heritage through the restoration of antique drums dating back to 1887 and also by grant projects which allow her to study classic American drumming styles with drummer, educator, and author, Daniel Glass, her co-author in the upcoming book entitled "The Postcard Project: A Snapshot of Drumming Life, 1900-1930" being released in 2017.

For more information about Kelli, her other projects, and upcoming clinics and appearances, visit www.KelliRaeTubbs.com.