Movements, Timing, and Precision of Drummers

  • Sofia Dahl
Reference work entry


Percussion instruments vary a great deal in material properties and characteristics of the interaction. Most drums, however, produce sounds with well-defined onsets, and contact time between player and instrument can be very brief. Players of percussion need to have precise control of timing and striking force for sometimes very rapidly repeating, fast movement patterns. This chapter starts by outlining what is specific for drumming movements and how they can be measured. Some general movement strategies used in drumming movements are described and also how tempo, dynamic level, and the surface struck affect the player-instrument interaction and timing control. Lastly, full-body motion capture data from a drum set performance is used to illustrate some of the points addressed in the chapter.


Drumming Percussion Music Player-instrument interaction Rhythm Timing Striking force Striking Downstroke Beater Preparatory height Rates Rebound Beat interval Drum set 



The author would like to thank Marcus Lewin for his patience and professional playing and allowing me to use the pictures and data for several of the figures in this chapter and also to Minho Song and Diana Kayser at fourMs, University of Oslo, for assisting with the recordings.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Architecture, Design and Media TechnologyAalborg University CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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