We’re learning all about the drums in school this week in celebration of National Drumming Month. Not just the actual technical aspects of drumming—it’s a lot of work!—but also, what drumming symbolizes in different cultures.
Did you know that drums are found in every culture in the world and have existed since before 6000 BC? That’s a super long time!
I can’t possibly talk about every kind of drum, or even what drumming means to different cultures (there’s so many, and you should look it up sometime…), but I thought I’d share my favourites from class.
In AFRICA, drums accompany a bunch of different types of ceremonies such as births, deaths and marriages. But in ancient times, drumming was used to stir up emotions before battles. The noise would cause your adrenaline to kick start, kind of like when I hear the starting pistol at track and field races.
In MEXICO, drums are treated with respect! In fact, my teacher says temples and altars are dedicated to them. Drums are considered an imitation of natural sounds and a magical means of communication. Sounds like something I could use in one of my stories, right?
Music is an essential part of life in AUSTRALIA, and the drums play a key role in teaching about culture, the land, human nature and even the supernatural. I think I need to learn a bit more about that.
And finally, there’s JAPAN. In class, we learned about these drums called Talko Drums. Apparently, they’re associated with the Gods. I really want to hear one of them played sometime. Maybe I’ll YouTube it…
Anyway, I gotta jet! Have a super weekend.
- Chase Superman Duffy
P.S. Yes, I’m asking mom for a pair of mixing spoon drumming sticks that I could use at the kitchen table in my Christmas stocking…