Notation and sound generation of the bass drum - Philipp Dangas
Notation and sound generation of the bass drum
Bass drum notation and sound generation graphic can be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].Pitch range of the bass drum
The sound of the bass drum is generated according to the acoustic principles that apply to the sound of the timpani. In contrast to the sound of the timpani, however, the sound of the bass drum does not have a pitch comparable to a specific tone on the sound scale. The reason for this is that the frame of the bass drum is not a hollow body that is firmly enclosed on all sides with just one spanned opening.
The air vibrations emanating from the batter head are amplified inside the frame by their resonance effect and are kept resonant. But communicate it to the outside air with the help of the resonant skin stretched over the second opening of the frame. The asynchronous counter-thrusts that are generated blur the pitch. The detectable sound is perceived as "deep".
The indefinability of the sound of the bass drum results in its special ability to merge with the sound of the bass instruments. The bass drum must be constructed or tuned in such a way that its sound does not have a specific pitch. Above all, the resonance skin must be thinner and more elastic than the batter skin. A single line is used today to notation the bass drum.
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Table summary of bass drum playing techniques
The following table lists the playing techniques and playing effects on the bass drum shown. The playing techniques that are not suitable are also briefly mentioned.