Making Musical Instruments
Opus 21 - Jazz Drums

Making Musical Instruments
Back  Next
The Jazz

  • Opus 19
  • Opus 20
  • Opus 21
  • Opus 22
    Instruments and
    Their Iconography
      Renaissance Instruments
      Baroque Instruments
      Substitute Materials
      The Publication
      The Author
      Making Musical Instruments
      Instrument Makers
      Video Excerpts
      Audio Excerpts
      Other Web Sites

    I In the late nineteenth century, jazz and ragtime flourished, and bass drums, snare drums and cymbals, generally associated with military bands, were adopted to provide rhythm in popular orchestras. Little by little, the percussion section took shape. In the 1920s, drummers borrowed cowbells, woodblocks, cymbals and Chinese tom-toms from the music hall and the circus. Other significant innovations of that time were the Charleston foot pedal and wire brushes for playing the cymbals and the snare drum, which gave more freedom of movement to the drummer.

    The jazz drums shown here were commissioned specially for Opus.

    Jazz Drums - CMC 92-49.11-19/S92-2919/CD95-646

    Jazz Drums - CMC 92-49/S92-2921/CD95-646 Jazz Drums - CMC 92-49/S92-2921/CD95-646 Jazz Drums - CMC 92-49/S92-2921/CD95-646 Jazz Drums - CMC 92-49/S92-2921/CD95-646
    Jazz Drums
    By Ayotte Drum Company
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Quebec maple, lacquer, metal, polyester drumheads
    Bass drum: 45 x 40 cm;
    tom-tom: 25 x 20 cm;
    tom-tom: 30 x 22.5 cm;
    tom-tom: 35 x 35 cm;
    snare drum: 35 x 15 cm

    The development of drum sets is directly linked with that of popular music. Today, jazz drums usually include a small bass drum, several tom-toms mounted above the bass drum and tuned to set pitches, a snare drum, foot cymbals operated with the left foot, cymbals suspended above the bass drum, and a large tom-tom on a low floor stand. This drum set is also used in orchestral performances, of George Gershwin's music, for example, and a variety of film scores by composers such as John T. Williams (of Star Wars fame).


    Raymond Ayotte

    Raymond Ayotte Video Excerpt
    Ayotte Drum Company
    Vancouver, British Columbia

    Raymond Ayotte makes drums exclusively to order. Four or five artisans are employed in his workshop, but each drum is individually crafted, thus ensuring complete originality. Ayotte is a professional drummer, who was drawn to drum making through repairing the instruments. He has operated his own workshop since 1983, where he and his colleagues have developed specialized machinery and tools.

    Raymond Ayotte has achieved international recognition. Many of his bass and snare drums are owned by symphony orchestras, not to mention jazz and rock musicians who order custom-made drum sets from him. His constant quest for superior quality has led him to develop a drumhead tension-adjustment system and the Ayotte Sensor System, which amplifies the vibraphone.

      Ayotte Drum's label