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A drum is a musical percussion instrument consisting of one or more skins stretched across openings and struck by a hand or beater. These could be used for musical accompaniment or for signalling. Often medieval drums were tensioned by ropes.

There are a number of different drum types including nakers and kettle known from the medieval period.

Beginning around the middle of the 15th century military drums began to add a hoop to hold down the skin.

In the 17th century drummers held a position of responsiblity and would act as messengers and envoys between armies. The idea of a drummer boy is a very post-medieval concept.

Drums in Recreationist Groups

Interestingly enough, in some recreation groups (of particular note are 17th century re-enactors) the roll of drummer is often portrayed by females.

At many events, New Age drummers can often be heard. This is unfortunate as many seem content to use inappropiate types of drums and seem to include a high proportion of people who seem unable to keep a beat.