Anyone in the music industry or having direct knowledge of the workings of musical instruments can testify to the look, feel and use of today’s instruments in comparison to yesterday’s
If you were to compare the guitars of yesteryear to today’s version, you would wonder how they ever produced the beautiful sounds that they did. The guitar dates back to two hundred AD, the first known name for the guitar was “The Oud consists of a large, round sound box (main body) and a short neck. It was used in Persia and what is now Iraq. It was plucked with an eagle’s feather.”(1) As it evolved, the look and feel of the modern day guitar began to resemble its current size and shape. It wasn’t until about five hundred AD before the fifth string was added. Since then, the modern guitar has not suffered any major changes to size and appearance. Though, other styles such as the electric guitar and keyboards depicting the sounds of guitars have been steadily replacing many of the original guitars in the quest to improve the sound, quality and members appearing on stage.
Drums, unlike guitars have faced extreme modifications and changes over the years. From the early start drums were made from a piece of membrane (most like from an animal that had recently been made into dinner) being stretched across a shell and being stuck by a hand or foot. From about the mid 1800’s drums had developed to include two sides with more advanced outer parts such as different thickness’ of the covers to produce softer, muffled and louder tones. It was realized around this time that different players sought different tones. Around 1890, advancements were being made to combine symbols and drums into one unit as a drums set started in the early 1900’s and were often made compact due to “financial and space”(2) constrictions. The pedal came to be about “1909 paving the way for today’s modern drum” (2) sets. While today, some drums are still made in a similar fashion, they have evolved into more sophisticated pieces of art. Today, there is a drum pedal, symbols and many other pieces to make a more bold sound and statement in the music we often hear.
The musical technology of these two instruments has encouraged the growth and sound of the music we all enjoy today. While technology continues to improve and define instruments, most came into power in the earliest times in our history.