America’s Greatest Musical Invention – The History and Development of the Drum Set. By Robert Breithaupt
This video series is designed as an academic course that both drum set players and those who are not as familiar with the instrument will find informative and entertaining. The course is separated into twelve sections, following the chronologic development of the instrument from its inception to present day. The course is conceived as a pedagogical tool for the instructor as well as an educational resource for the student and performer.
The series utilizes images and video links of source material as the primary means of demonstration, with the active links found on the “Resources” page. Also found within the sections of the course are video are demonstrations of techniques associated with drum set.
When you purchase this Video Series, you'll receive an email invitation to join the special Members' Page that will allow you to download all the supplemental materials and view all of the series' videos. Your access to the Members' Page for this series will never expire.
The History and Development of the Drum Set
Viewers can refer to a list of topics, listed by section. In addition, viewers can search by topic in a search function.
Throughout the sections, there will be references to audio and video clips, utilizing YouTube and found in the Video List with the course. The links within the video are not active, however, the links within the Video List are active.
The list of resources includes books, methods, and other materials that were used in the research for this project and contain additional information on various topics.
This supplemental section focuses upon the art of soloing. While discussed during the course, this section identifies a group of outstanding soloists and provides audio and video links of many notable examples.
This section identifies bandleaders whose groups served as a catalyst for attaching some of the great drummers of all time. These leaders had a knack of identifying and attracting a variety of superb artists and subsequently featuring them in a manner that would both highlight a drummer’s skills and enhance the leader’s ensembles.
Drummer and Gender
There is no question that drumming has been and continues to be eschewed toward male dominance. However, there is a growing gender diversity in the drumming community, and this section not only identifies current prominent female players but notes important contributions by females in earlier years.
The drum brush represents a unique and prominent component of drum set history. First used as a stick substitute for volume considerations, it became the most important alternative implement to drumsticks, and created a personal style for nearly every player. This section discusses important elements of bush playing and provides a variety of resources for further study.
Drumming and Tap Dancing
This section discusses the fascinating historical relationship between drumming and tap dancing. Tap dancing, more specifically, “sand dancing” had a direct influence upon brush playing. Additionally, many drummers in the early days of jazz drumming were tap dancers, such as Buddy Rich and Roy Haynes, becoming quite expert. The video resources in this section are particularly interesting.
This is a list of questions, by section, that may be used by an instructor as test questions, or as a guide to group discussion. For the student, they can serve to gauge the depth of understanding of a topic.