Most likely, the drum is an instrument of local origin, though
archeological proof for this has not been found. Anyway, drums have always been used.
Those types of drums, which are played in Latvia nowadays, have come from
Western Europe - kettle drums in XI-XIII centuries and cylindrical drums in the
XV century. In the Latvian written sources drum is mentioned in XVI century for
the first time.
Double-sided cylindrical stump's drum
Cylindrical drums are made from a hollowed stump or laths cylindrically stucked together.
On one or both ends with a cord or screws a leather membrane is attached.
Kettle drum is made of a copper kettle, on which a leather membrane has been
and from below small legs are attached. At the Riga Ethnographic museum
there is exposed a kettle drum made in XV c.
Cylindrical and kettle drums are so-called membrane drums - their
sound is produced
by fluctuations of a leather membrane. It has been known from written sources follows,
that also gong drums have been played in Latvia - consisting of a bent metal plate
attached to the
rack. However, their samples have not been found.
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