Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fantastic Civil War US Regulation Infantry Eagle Drum

With nice Mfg. Label by C. & F. Soistmann
eBayer brentsantiquesinc( 1468) is offering this beauty as eBay item no. 260400766310

Copy with ebay ad states:
Here is a fantastic US Regulation size uncut or unaltered Infantry Civil War eagle drum. Measures approx 16 x 16 inches. Head skins are 100% original and unreplaced as so many you see are. The top head skin is wonderful with a nice well used look with the bottom skin broken but complete. The rope is original as so many have replacement ropes. The leather tugs are present except for one missing. The manufactures label is complete and reads "C. & F. Soistmann, Manufactors of all kinds of drums, No. 458 Dillwyn St., Philadelphia." (corrected)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Making a Rope Tension Snare Drum with W.H. Reamer

I stumbled upon a set of photos which appear to be from a "senior project" of one J.D. Kamm. The complete set is too large to post here, but a sampling should be enough to send regular readers of this blog directly to the mother lode.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Collage of Drums

When my drum collection at home reached 6, it was time to find other space. My office has become the perfect place for drums as art, as can be seen in this arrangement.

Wanderers Drum & Bugle Corps, ca. 1964-66

Well, I found these old photos and thought they sort of belong here. Maybe those of you who were around in the 1960's will remember the Wanderers Drum & Bugle Corps, sponsored by American Legion Post 8, New Rochelle, New York. I spent three years with the corps (1964, 1965 and 1966) before joining the Sunrisers Drum & Bugle Corps, sponsored by the B.P.O.E. of Massapequa, New York, for the 1967 season.

I judged (National Judges Association) for a few years after that but my playing days were over.

Here are some photos of the Wanderers' drum line from those years. I think we were playing on Slingerland drums.

Some of the guys chimping for the camera in Bethlehem, PA, before a show, July 4, 1966

The Wanderers Drum & Bugle Corps at Fort Slocum, NY, 1964

The Wanderers Drum & Bugle Corps at Fort Slocum, NY, 1964

Joe Verlezza, Tom Anestis, Bobby McKay, John Bicknees (sp?), Sal Iarapoli (sp?), ?, ? at the Legion Post prior to boarding a bus to whereever, ca. 1964

Top: Bill Gill, Contra Bass (don't remember name), Doug Ogden, Les Dahlstadt, Ellis Mirsky, Jimmy Redmond, Curt?
Bottom: he hung around with us, Curt's younger brother?, Joe Verlezza, don't remember
Significant is that many of us were wearing our "We Got Screwed" t-shirts, hand-painted by one of the corps members as a reminder of our defeatist attitude that we were better than we actually were and that the judges were always getting it wrong

Our New Uniforms (1966 Season)

Don Stewart lays in a crisp bass drum roll in concert at Fort Slocum, NY, 1964

Some of the guys in NYC before the Puerto Rico Day Parade, 1964

Don Stewart, Downtown NYC for Puerto Rico Day Parade, 1964
(Bill Stalzer in the background)

Ellis Mirsky, Downtown NYC for Puerto Rico Day Parade, 1964

Saturday, April 18, 2009

15th Century Drum Pictured in "Long Military Flutes of the Sixteenth Century"

Long Military Flutes of the Sixteenth Century
Renaissance Flute Days

Basel, 7 September 2002
by Ardal Powell
Folkers & Powell, Makers of Historical Flutes, Hudson NY, USA

An earlier version of this presentation was given at the American Musical Instrument Society's annual meeting in Poughkeepsie NY on 18 June 1999.

A handout for this presentation contains some dates of historic significance.

Galloway Presentation Drum

U.S. Army's Center of Military History, Museums Division Collection:

During the Civil War, this brass shell presentation drum sounded the call to arms. It bears the inscription “Henry Galloway”, who was a Field Musician with Company H, 55th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. A sister regiment to the 54th Massachusetts, famed for its charge at Battery Wagner in Charleston, South Carolina, both were raised in 1863, of free Black citizens. By such service, African-Americans joined the ranks of the Regular Army in 1866, with the organization of the 9th and 10th Cavalry and later the 24th and 25th Infantry. The chasseur-style forage cap displays the 1896-pattern insignia of Company C, 25th Infantry, which earned the proud title "Buffalo Soldiers," while serving on the American frontier.

Courtesy of the Army Historical Collection, U.S. Army Center of Military History

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tintype of a Young Federal Drummer

1/6 Plate Tintype of a Young Federal Drummer. Wears what appears to be a battle shirt and kepi. Holds sticks poised for playing. Drum suspended from wide cloth sling which is tinted red. Fine quality, some crazing but emulsion is tight and not flaking. No case.

Heritage Auction Galleries
2008 November Signature Civil War Auction
Sale Number: 6015
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Auction Date: November 20-21, 2008

Sold for: $657.25 incl. 19.5% buyer's premium
Lot no. 57285

Copyright © 1999-2009 Heritage Auctions, Inc.
3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor
Dallas, Texas 75219-3941
All Rights Reserved
1-800-872-6467 / (214) 528-3500 / Fax: (214) 443-842

1865 NY Excelsior NGSNY Drum by William Kilbourn of Albany, New York

1996 Restoration by Bill Reamer

Described as follows:

Civil War Drum, ID’d – Excelsior, Regt. Co. N.G.S.N.Y.
$7450 A wonderful restored drum that belonged to Pvt. William Linde who had transferred into “G’ Co, NY 10th Infantry on June 5, 1865 and mustered out on June 30, 1865. He had previously served in “M” Co. NY 8th Light Artillery. The 10th was originally formed in Albany New York. This rare drum, restored by William Reamer in July 1995, a very famous restorer of drums lived in Fetterville, PA. The drum has Bill’s hand written label and also the original manufacturer label of William Kilbourn of Albany, New York. The drum was meticulously restored by Reamer and is all original except for replacement rope of the period and reproduction leather ears. An extraordinary opportunity for the Civil War drum specialist.

For comparison: The below described drum, similar to the one above and also restored by Bill Reamer sold on November 21, 2008 for $10,157.50 including the buyer premium. Although it does have a Gettysburg connection, it does not have original heads as does our and is not specifically ID’d to a soldier.

Great Civil War Paint Decorated New York State Infantry Snare Drum with Gettysburg Association. The drum was fully restored with new heads, ropes, tighteners snares and snare tighteners in 1989 by noted drum authority W. H. Reamer. 14" high, 15" diameter. The 12" diameter paint decorated panel depicts a variation of the new York state seal. Large "Excelsior" riband at the top, underneath which in bright yellow paint is "Gettysburg 1863". An eagle on globe is perched atop an American shield, diagonally bisected by a red, white and blue band. The shield is flanked on both sides by American flags. The drum also exhibits "Gettysburg July 2d 1863" in the same yellow paint on the bottom hoop (now protected by a Lucite plaque. Additionally, carved on the upper hoop is "T. E. 129 NY". Ironically the 129th new York was not at Gettysburg and was redesignated the 8th new York Hvy. Arty. Oct 3, 1862, at which time they doubtless turned in their infantry drums resulting in their issue to another regiment, thus finding its way to Gettysburg. The 129th was also heavily fought losing 361 men killed and mortally wounded. A gorgeous drum and especially desirable with this Gettysburg association.

Confirming Information: See Heritage Auction Galleries' 2008 November Signature Civil War Auction, lot no. 57783.

Sale Number: 6015
Location: Gettysburg, PA
Auction Date: November 20-21, 2008

Copyright © 1999-2009 Heritage Auctions, Inc.
3500 Maple Avenue, 17th Floor
Dallas, Texas 75219-3941
All Rights Reserved
1-800-872-6467 / (214) 528-3500 / Fax: (214) 443-842

Antebellum Covers
P. O. Box 3494, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20885-3494
Photo Credit: Mark Bugnaski | Kalamazoo Gazette

Paula Metzner, Kalamazoo Valley Museum assistant director for collections, takes down a Civil War drum inscribed on the top "Benj. S. Goins old army drummer and fifer," one of several Civil War drums in the museum's collection. Goins, was an African-American soldier from Covert during the Civil War. When the drum was given to the museum in the 1940s, Goins' grandson said his grandfather carried it during Sherman's March to the Sea.
Source: A 'collection of curiosities': the Kalamazoo Valley Museum is home to an eclectic assemblage of historical artifacts
by Paula M. Davis | Kalamazoo Gazette
Monday December 01, 2008, 1:00 PM

25th Ohio Drum

Image found on website of Firelands Museum of THE FIRELANDS HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc., 4 Case Ave., Norwalk, Ohio (419.668.6038).

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Old Bass Drum with Stars on Counter Hoops

Lillian and Stuart Caplin's extraordinary collection of antique musical ephemera, instruments and sheet music at the Center for Musical Antiquities.

Center for Musical Antiquities
544 East 86th St.
New York, NY 10028
Phone: (212) 744-8168
Fax: (212) 744-9303

Friday, April 10, 2009

Reader Seeks Information re Tacked Barrel Bass Drum

Reader and drum historian Susan Cifaldi writes:

Hi, I think I posted a similar message on your Tompkins drum blog. here is something I hope you can answer:

I'm looking to identify this tack design with a specific maker:

The drum is a barrel bass that has been cut down a bit, so the third vent hole with its tack/circle design is missing. Have you ever encountered anything similar to this tack design?

There is a snare/side drum pictured on page 46 of Carroll's _American Drums of War_ identified as "Tompkins Drum of 1839" with the caption "A unique drum with the shop of the maker painted on the shell." He further attributes the drum to "The New-York Historical Society, New York City" with the rather transparent source code of 1839WT08. However, I have a copy of Vol XIX Nos. 3 and 4 of _The New-York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin (October 1935) that shows 2 Tompkins drums on p 66, one of which is the drum that has "the shop of the maker painted on the shell," and it is obviously an entirely different drum.

Here are my questions: 1) have you ever encountered a Tompkins drum with a tack design similar to what is seen on p. 46 of the CPC book? 2) if so, where is/are this/these drums? 3) is it possible that the "Tompkins" drum on GPC/p. 46 was inadvertently mislabeled? and 4) if so, who actually made the "Tompkins" drums pictured thereon?

Puzzling! Thanks for any help you can give.


Editor's Reply: Susan, of possible interest is this beauty, part of the 1st Brigade Band's (Wisconsin) instrument collection, described as "Wm. Horstmann & Son Rope Tension Barrel Drum". See that site for additional photos of drums which do not appear on this blog.

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Online Review of the "Moeller Book"

Revisiting the 'Ancients'
An Online Review of the "Moeller Book"
by Tommy William Hanson, BA, Music, N.A.R.D.

Found this review while surfing the Net. See article for more than you ever thought you might learn about the Moeller technique.

Also, YouTube is loaded with videos (just search for moeller technique, moeller method, etc.).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

On The End of Chops

Get the picture?

Some might say it started with skin heads -- much easier to play on than hollowed out logs. And, oh, that rebound!

Others could point to the mylars we played on in the 60's -- even more rebound, and they didn't get soggy in the rain when we marched in parades when the weather was less than cooperative.

Still others might say it was Kevlar® -- that Formica®-like surface that all but destroys the wrists of any drummer who learned to play a long roll on a pillow. You can't do that anymore. If you do on a Kevlar® (or any over-tensioned) head, it will hurt you.

Forget arm movement, forget elbows (remember those terrific takes of drum lines like the Chicago Caveliers, viewed from behind where all you could see was their elbows?), forget wrists (Kevlar® all but eliminates the need for those joints), and forget even having to learn to play. It was terribly inconvenient anyway. Just hold the sticks near the drum head, flip a switch and, whamo!, you're a drummer.

Everyone's a drummer anyway. We all know that. Anyone can play the drum, right? So, here we have a drum that proves it.

In fairness, this device is part of studies designed to develop muscle memory and teach movement by taking the muscles through the motions desired. And who knows? It might actually work. Let me know when I can toss out my wooden wedge drum pad built when finding a suitable rubber surface to glue or nail to the wedge was a major undertaking.

Based on the early work shown here, there's a long way to go to replicate the muscle movements required to duplicate the drumming of Earl Sturtze and disciples (such as Bob Redican, Hugh Quigly, and Frank Arsenault).

Joseph Flatley reports in "engadget", January 28, 2009:

Developed by the Magnetic Musical Training project, FielDrum sees a pretty standard percussion instrument fitted with a series of electromagnets. Placed beneath the drum head, the magnets can either be told to "attract" or "repel" via-MIDI, creating some kick-ass paradiddles as the new drum student holds his or her sticks over the instrument. Sure, this all sounds like fun, but this is the kind of research that could have serious ramifications: How do people learn things involving "complex physical gestures?" Can people "learn-by-feel?" How does this approach compare to traditional motor training?

Flately's article referred to this snippet on an MIT (yes, that MIT) website:

by Graham Grindlay

How do people learn the kinds of complex physical gestures required to play musical instruments? Although a beginning percussion student may know what motions are involved in a paradiddle, it will still take practice to develop the motor programs required to produce those motions. Part of the underlying hypothesis of the Magnetic Musical Training project is that beginners would benefit from a kinesthetic "preview" of a target gesture's correct execution. The MMT project is investigating whether people can "learn-by-feel" and if so, how this approach compares to traditional motor training.

One of the current MMT projects is the FielDrum, an acoustic drum outfitted with a system of electromagnets, permanent magnets, and control electronics. These are used to induce pushing and pulling forces on a drumstick, moving it through a desired path in space. In its current state, the FielDrum has two states (attract or repel) which are controlled using the MIDI protocol (noteon messages attract the drumstick while noteoff messages repel it). Presently, we are working to add a position sensing system for the drumsticks as well as continuous control over the electromagnet.

Gone Are the Drums (with apologies to Stephen C. Foster)

Now that we don't need to learn to play, here comes another goodie that frees us of the burden of having to carry a drum. Virtual drums. You be the judge.

What's Next? An electrical abdomnimal muscle maker that will take the work out of exercising and give each of us our own 6-pack? See this on electical muscle stimulation.

P.R. Winn, Drummaker

An article by W. Lee Vinson, author and publisher of and . For Lee's story about ...