German: Grosse Trommel
French: grosse caisse
Italian: gran cassa, gran tamburo
The bass drum plays an essential role in several western musical styles. Its variable timbre can be used to mark the rhythm not only in large orchestras but also in small ensembles: in military music, where it is played together with the cymbal, in pop, rock and jazz, where it is played using the bass pedal as part of the drum kit, or in the orchestra.
The bass drum covers the bass register within the orchestra percussion section, while the tenor drum corresponds to the tenor, the snare drum to the treble register.
Because the bass drum produces not only some of the most subtle and soft effects in the orchestra but also some of the loudest, it is customary in orchestral works to use only one. Only in exceptional circumstances is more than one bass drum used.
Percussion instrument, membranophone with indefinite pitch, cylindrical drum, double-headed drum
Cylindrical; Material: wood (beech, walnut), more rarely plywood or metal; depth 35–65 cm
Batter head, resonating head. Material: calfskin or plastic, diameter 70–100 cm
10–16 screws for tensioning the heads
Bass drum sticks with soft felt heads; timpani mallets, wood sticks
Frame with swivel attachment
Frame from which the drum is suspended at several points and in which it can be placed at any angle