Google+ London Calling: Twelfth Day of Christmas

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Twelfth Day of Christmas


On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me... twelve drummers drumming.

I think the writer of the song went to the same parades as me. Along with the pipes in the pipe and drum bands are of course the drums. There are drums in all the bands, my favourites being the horses who carry a drum on either side.

Drums is something I do know about. As part of A-level music you had to play in the Orchestra. Sadly my violin playing (the only qualifying instrument) wasn't anywhere near the standard required, so I had a crash course in percussion and became the percussionist. Depending on the piece it can be a thankless task. you get about a quarter of the music that the rest of the orchestra does as a lot of it (especially when playing the timpani) requires "48 bars rest". You have to pay attention so that you don't miss your cue from the conductor when it is time to join in! I eventually lost my spot as there was somebody who actually studied percussion as and instrument, and could do the elusive drum roll (which I never mastered). To be honest I was glad to give it up... I hated trying to tune the timpani, I have no rhythm (the irony is not lost on me) and I frequently missed my cues daydreaming during the long rest periods. Give me the choir any day!

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