Construction and function - snare drum - Philipp Dangas

Construction and function of the snare drum

Graphic showing the construction and function of the snare drum can be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].

Components of the snare drum in small representation

The snare drum has basically the same structure as the bass drum. The resulting special features are based on their characteristics as a treble instrument of the drum family. The snare drum has a diameter of about 35-38 cm and a height of about 15-19 cm.

This is used in the symphonic orchestra. It is made of metal, just like the fur ring and the rim. The skins are mostly made of calfskin. The batter head is usually thicker than the resonance head. The string cover is stretched diagonally over the resonance head. This consists of 8 to 12 strings that lie firmly on the resonant head.

The tension screws of the snare drum are each mounted on a common axle. The snare drum is struck with 2 wooden mallets. They have a length of about 38 cm. The heads of the drumsticks must be strongly pronounced. The materials used are ebony, jaccaranda, brazil red or hickory.

Dazzling example of the snare drum sound [Music by Ravel, Maurice]
Download size: 174 kilobytes
Components of the percussion instruments at a glance
Component Description
Mallets A long wooden stick (30–40 cm) with a rounded end. Mainly used in pairs.
Batter skin Membrane (natural fur made from animal skin or synthetic material) that is struck with mallets.
Shell (timpani only) Hemispherical resonance body made of copper sheet or plastic and a membrane (skin) stretched over it.
Pedal (timpani only) The foot can be operated to change the tuning of the timpani while playing.