Percussion instruments...

• Jan 3, 2011 - 20:34

I'm currently composing a percussion concerto and noticed something rather odd in the unpitched percussion... Is the automobile break drum supposed to be a joke?


I don't remember who made this list. But it seems that automobile brake drums are used as instruments in carnivals. I guess it could be removed indeed. Any other opinion ?

I've conducted a number of pieces through the years that require the Brake Drum (including most recently Robert W. Smith's The Great Locomotive Chase for concert band), so it's a legitimate unpitched percussion instrument. I would suggest taking "Automobile" off it it, since I've only heard it referred to as a "Brake Drum."

I know this reply is 9 years later, but I'd thought I'd write it anyway.

To non-percussionists and even some percussionists, a break drum is the same thing as an anvil. However they are actually two different instruments. Some percussion ensembles have both an anvil and a brake drum for playing songs that incorporate a lot of metallic sounding parts. I myself am planning on transcribing a song I heard, that would require both an anvil and a break drum.

If you're still curious, here are some links to videos showing an anvil, break drum, and also the song I'm talking about

Break Drum:

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