History of Marching Snare Drum

Marching band playing snare drums
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History of Marching Snare Drum

Shiny looking marching snare drums

The marching snare drum, sometimes known as the side drum, is a percussion instrument that produces a crisp staccato sound when struck. It is ensured that the instrument makes such sound when struck with a drum stick by a series of rigid wires that grip the tension against the bottom skin.

The use of snare drums can be seen in parades, marching bands, concerts, and various other settings. This central drum set piece, on the other hand, has come a long way to earn its place in these events. Let’s have a look at how this magnificent kit came to be.


History of Marching Snare Drum

The Beginnings of Drums

Drums were discovered in Mesopotamia in approximately 6000 B.C., which was the first proof of their existence. During this time, anything that made a noise when tapped was considered a drum.

The drums used to be made of clay and had a box-shaped frame. It began to develop more distinct structures as time went on. The tribals found that they could use animal skin as a drumhead to make more noise at that time. The drumhead refers to the stretched skin that covers the drum.

Creation of the First Snare Drum

In Medieval Europe, about 1300, the first snare drum was developed after years of development. Although it wasn’t quite a snare drum, the instrument had a comparable construction to our modern counterparts. The Tabor was its name.

The Undeniable Appeal of the Tabor

The Tabor was a two-headed drum with only a single drum strand beneath the instrument’s bottom. In the 1400s, it was a tremendous hit. It grew into a much larger drum throughout time, and individuals could carry it around with the help of a shoulder strap. The field drums were the name for these drums.

The Swiss and Ottoman armies both used Tabor for military objectives. By the 1500s, the British began to use drums akin to drome or field drums.

Additional Snare Drum Modifications

During the 1600s, snare drums began to receive increasingly advanced adaptations. To keep the snare from falling apart, screws were bolted in place. As a result, we were able to deliver a high-pitch sound, from which we evolved the concept of keeping a modern drum’s snare tight.

By the 1800s, it had also begun to have a more compact structure without sacrificing effect. Those drum sets were brass, which contributed to the increased volume. It became more convenient for portability as a result of the compact structure and lighter material. 

Marching Snare Drums in the 21st Century

In the early 1900s, a compacted form of the snare drum was introduced into the musical world. It has remained a vital percussion instrument ever since. The coiled wire and strainer were a recent addition to the snare drum that improved the drum’s sound clarity. It’s now employed in a wide range of music, from rock to classical.


Without a snare drum, music nowadays appears to be impossible. Many instrument producers prepare snare drums of varied styles and functionality to suit people’s expectations, owing to their popularity. We owe it to the snare drum’s journey that we may now enjoy such clean beats in all types of music.

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