History of Drums Timeline
Timeline Description: The drum is a musical instrument that has been around for thousands of years. It is still one of the most popular parts of music today.

Date Event
5500 BC Drums in ancient culture

Drums have been found in China which date back to ancient times. The drums were often used in religious rituals or ceremonies.
1100 BC The cymbals

Cymbals are typically made of metal and used to make a dinging or tinkling sound. They were originally made in ancient Turkey or China, but were also used in Israel and Egypt.
684 The drums of war(684 - BC)

Drums have been used to set a marching beat for soldiers, as well as to motivate soldiers, for thousands of years. A battle between Qi and Lu in ancient times was noted to have a significantly changed outcome because of the use of drums.
500 BC Drums as signals

Sri Lankan history shows that drums were once used as a form of communication between cities or tribes. The pattern or tone of a drum beat might mean a variety of messages.
1300 The snare drum(1300 AD)

For many years there were a variety of drums made out of whatever materials the builder could find. The first modern snare drum was created in medieval Europe.
1300 The drum stick

There is little evidence of man using drum sticks from the ancient days; however, it is likely they were used. Some of the earliest known drum sticks were from the 1300's, used to beat snare drums called Tabors, and they were made from wood.
1400 The Timpani

The timpani drums are a group of drums that each have a different pitch. They were brought to Europe sometime during the 1400's, but weren't used widely until the 1600's.
1400 The Bass drum

Another modern drum is the bass drum. Bigger than the snare drum, it was brought into Europe during the 1400's, and is sometimes called the Turkish drum.
1700 Drum sticks evolve

Over time, different woods were used for different drums. Beef wood was popular in the 1700's, and throughout the 1800's a popular choice for military drums was ebony.
1800 The bongos

Drums remained mostly unchanged for many years, but new drums were found when modern people began exploring more and more of Africa and Cuba. The bongo drums are traced to these cultures, and are always a set of twin drums.
1930 The drum set

Today a popular item is the drum set. People can now purchase sets of drum, and the first kit began selling in the early 1900's.
1958 Drum sticks evolve

Musicians often complained that the tips of their drum sticks wore down. A man named Joe Calato invented a drum stick with a nylon tip to help prolong the life of a drum stick, and the idea was a success.
1960 Modern drum sets

As individualism took hold of America and the world, drums sets became even more popular. The modern drum set emerged with more cymbals, and bass drums.
1976 The first electric drums

A man named Karl Bartos invented a new type of drum—the electric drums. His invention did not produce a quality sound at the time, but it was an idea that would grow and take hold of musicians in the future.
1997 Modern electric drums(1997 and beyond )

The electric drum has continued to evolve over the years. Major electronic brands such as Yamaha jumped on board with electric drums, and Roland introduced its now-famous TD-10 model in 1997.