What Is a Drum Head Made Of?

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Drums have been a part of human society since before historical records were kept. Though there have been many developments in technology and materials in recent years, most drum heads are made out of one or two materials. While most historical drum heads were made from animal skins, two companies changed all of this by using plastics to produce their drum heads.

Animal Skin

  • Historically, drum heads were made from dried, stretched animal skins. This was the common practice up until the 1950s.

Polyester

  • Chick Evans developed the first plastic drum head in 1956. Plastic drum heads are cheaper, more durable and less sensitive to changes in weather than drum heads made from animal skins.

Mylar

  • The Remo Drum Company first produced drum heads made of mylar, a type of plastic, in 1957. This has become an industry standard material for the making of drum heads.

Kevlar

  • Drum heads made of aramid fibers such as kevlar are sometimes used on marching band drums, mostly because of their durability and strength.

HIstorical Ensembles

  • Drummers in historical ensembles, such as fife and drum groups, often prefer to use animal skins in order to properly emulate the sounds of the historical instruments they use.

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