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      Most likely, the drum is an instrument of local origin, though archeological proof for this has not been found. Anyway, drums have always been used. Those types of drums, which are played in Latvia nowadays, have come from Western Europe - kettle drums in XI-XIII centuries and cylindrical drums in the XV century. In the Latvian written sources drum is mentioned in XVI century for the first time.

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Double-sided cylindrical stump's drum

    Cylindrical drums are made from a hollowed stump or laths cylindrically stucked together. On one or both ends with a cord or screws a leather membrane is attached.

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Kettle drum

    Kettle drum is made of a copper kettle, on which a leather membrane has been stretched, and from below small legs are attached. At the Riga Ethnographic museum there is exposed a kettle drum made in XV c.
    Cylindrical and kettle drums are so-called membrane drums - their sound is produced by fluctuations of a leather membrane. It has been known from written sources follows, that also gong drums have been played in Latvia - consisting of a bent metal plate attached to the rack. However, their samples have not been found.

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Last time modified
03 September 2018

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