Tag Archives: Bruce and Emmett

Ancient Drum Notation

Here’s a look at three examples of how snare drum parts were once notated.

The first example is from “A New, Useful and Complete System of Drum Beating” by Charles Ashworth, 1812. The top notes, with the stems up, indicate the left hand while the bottom notes, with stems down, indicate the right hand. The first measure is a 7-stroke roll.

Ashworth's "Hessian" - 1812

The second example is from “Col. H.C. Hart’s New and Improved Instructor for the Drum” by Col. H.C. Hart, 1862. Again, the upper symbols indicate the left hand and the lower symbols indicate the right hand. The “7” spanning both the upper and lower areas indicates a 7-stroke roll beginning with the left hand and ending with the right. The 5’s in the lower area indicate a 5-stroke roll beginning and ending with the right hand.

Hart's "Hessian" - 1862

This final example is from “The Drummer’s and Fifer’s Guide” by George Bruce and Dan Emmett, 1862. This is more recognizable as our modern notation. Notice that the shorter 5, 7 and 9 stroke rolls were written out stroke by stroke while the longer rolls were written as we do today.

Bruce & Emmett's "Hessian" - 1862


New Civil War-era Drum and Fife Manuals for Download

Civil War re-enactors will find these manuals useful, as will rudimental drummers interested in our rudimental past.

“A New, Useful and Complete System of Drum Beating” by Charles Ashworth, 1812

“Col. H.C. Hart’s New and Improved Instructor for the Drum” by Col. H.C. Hart, 1862

“The Drummer’s and Fifer’s Guide” by George Bruce and Dan Emmett, 1862

These PDF’s were created from the images available at Fife & Drum Online.


New downloads available

I’ve just completed some work on “Downfall of Paris.” The following are available for download in the Resources section:

Downfall of Paris (Fife & Drum) – as it appears in “Col. H. C. Hart’s New and Improved Instructor for the Drum,” 1862

Downfall of Paris (Fife only) – as it appears in “Col. H. C. Hart’s New and Improved Instructor for the Drum,” 1862

Downfall of Paris (Drum only) – as it appears in “Col. H. C. Hart’s New and Improved Instructor for the Drum,” 1862

Downfall of Paris – a comparison of the drum parts as they appear in Col. Hart’s manual and Bruce & Emmett’s manual

 

Enjoy! And as always, if you have any input, suggestions or words of wisdom to share, please feel free to Contact me.


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