Notation for drum parts when scores were hand written?

  • #1
Stephen Tashi
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In the days when scores were written by hand, how were parts for drums written? It's clear that ordinary notation is sufficient to indicate the duration of dumb beats - although writing each beat for a drum would be tedious. Was there some system of abbreviation? Did composers attempt to assign a pitch to drum parts? That could be done for some kind of drums, but what about the kind of drums used by marching bands?
 

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  • #2
Vanadium 50
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Same as it is now:

1616329311817.png



The clef is "percussion clef". It is common for individual drums to be identified. It is also common for cymbals to have an X notehead. It is less common to have a hi-hat pedal notated on the bottom of the staff, so this is an example of why it's good to identify drums.
 
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  • #3
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Hey V read your report and suggest the following for fairer use.

Display it on your monitor and use windows screen capture to crop what you want to show. Use the windowskey+shift+s and select a portion of the score to capture.
 
  • #5
Stephen Tashi
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@Stephen Tashi ,did taht answer your question?
Yes, the statement that handwitten scores used the drum clef notation exemplified by the printed score example. does answer my question.
 
  • #6
TeethWhitener
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For individual percussion instruments in classical scores, you’ll often have a single line with a rhythm notated on it. Piatti = snare drum and Cassa = bass drum. (And timpani is typically written in bass clef.)
002909AA-3783-4457-BC6A-4993787353F9.jpeg
 
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  • #7
BWV
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One line is all you need for a hammer
74ogbqto.png

But why only FF? Bonus points if you know what piece this is without googling
 
  • #8
Vanadium 50
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Bonus points if you know what piece this is without googling

Gustav's Silver Hammer (A Minor Tragedy)?

PS How the devil would you Google such a thing?
 
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  • #9
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Gustav's Silver Hammer (A Minor Tragedy)?

PS How the devil would you Google such a thing?
I’m sure it’s at the top when you google ‘classical music with hammer’
 
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hmmm27
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Maxwell's Silver Hammer :wink:
 
  • #11
Vanadium 50
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How would they know it was classical? And if one didn't read music, one might guess the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore.
 
  • #12
Vanadium 50
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But why only FF?

For brasswinds there is "blastissimo".

The cannons in the 1812 Overture are written in bass, not percussion clef, and are noted E. I don't know how one tunes a cannon. They start with quarter notes at ff and become half notes at ffff. I guess one is supposed to use more gunpowder?
 
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  • #16
Vanadium 50
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Wagner did write some great stuff/ "Oh Brunhilde, you are so wuv-ly." "Yes, I know it. I can't help it."
 
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  • #17
atyy
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Ah, but the excerpt is not Wagner!

Right, but @Vanadium 50 already gave the correct answer above. This was just a mildly horrifying story that a google search turned up, with the correct answer shown first, as you said.
 
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atyy
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  • #19
Jonathan Scott
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For individual percussion instruments in classical scores, you’ll often have a single line with a rhythm notated on it. Piatti = snare drum and Cassa = bass drum. (And timpani is typically written in bass clef.)
View attachment 280167
Nice choice of music (last line of Rach 2). During one rehearsal, I had to use a stack of two school chairs as a piano stool, and the sideways motion in the last bar (down from the top note to the last 4 Cs) caused the top one to slip off the side of the lower one so I ended up on the floor, resulting in unexpected additional percussion noises and a mixture of concerned and hysterical noises from the orchestra. I'd challenge anyone to notate that!
 
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  • #20
TeethWhitener
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resulting in unexpected additional percussion noises and a mixture of concerned and hysterical noises from the orchestra.
Haha, well kudos to you for playing it. Whenever I try to play it, there also usually end up being unexpected percussion noises as well as more than a few improvised PG-13 vocal parts :biggrin:
 
  • #21
BWV
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Nice choice of music (last line of Rach 2). During one rehearsal, I had to use a stack of two school chairs as a piano stool, and the sideways motion in the last bar (down from the top note to the last 4 Cs) caused the top one to slip off the side of the lower one so I ended up on the floor, resulting in unexpected additional percussion noises and a mixture of concerned and hysterical noises from the orchestra. I'd challenge anyone to notate that!
Maybe
1619881091822.png
 
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  • #22
Jonathan Scott
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Haha, well kudos to you for playing it. Whenever I try to play it, there also usually end up being unexpected percussion noises as well as more than a few improvised PG-13 vocal parts :biggrin:
In my experience, it gets better after about 35 years. It would probably have taken less time if I didn't have a full time computer programming job.
 
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Your percussive fall reminded me of an error report I once saw. It was for a mainframe computer and the report said simply "TELCO ERROR". We didn't have any such hardware named telco and it was for some novel extended instruction processing unit hardware.

Further investigation revealed that the local phone repair technician had accidentally crashed his cart into the processing unit which caused a computer malfunction and ultimately a full reboot to get things back to normal.
 

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