We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Snare Drum Music?

By Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Musical Expert is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Musical Expert, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Arguably, percussion instruments are the most versatile, as they can be used in just about any genre. Out of all percussion instruments, the snare drum adapts best. Subsequently, several distinct types of snare drum music exist, including small band, marching, orchestra and concert band, solo and small ensemble.

One type of snare drum music is small band. This music can fall under categories such as rock, pop or even jazz. In this capacity, the snare drum is part of a larger drumset. The drummer uses the snare drum to create a backbeat pattern that is part of the larger rhythm the drumset plays.

Some snare drum music is designed for marching. Often, the snare drum provides the same role in marching music as it does in small band music, providing a foundation for the rhythmic pattern of the music. Marching snare music can be much more complex, however, because the drummer can focus only on the snare drum instead of the entire set. In fact, marching snare music frequently highlights the technical abilities and showmanship of the drummer, with members of the snare line coordinating both their steps and sticking patterns for visual effect. This is especially true in drum and bugle corps.

The next type of snare drum music is music for concert band or orchestra. Music in these ensembles usually is written so the snare drum adds to the overall sound of the group. For example, the snare can do a traditional roll to "beef up" or guide the intensity of a volume increase, or they can do "hits" to make the accents of the orchestra more effective. An example is in the fourth movement of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonic suite "Scheherazade."

In some cases, orchestra and concert band snare music takes on a soloistic role. For example, in the opening of Sergei Prokofiev's "Lieutenant Kijé," the music calls for the snare drum to play a solo in a military-like fashion at a low dynamic level. Similarly, the work "Boléro" by Maurice Ravel, requires the snare drum to play the same two measures for the duration of the piece. This requires the drummer to have extreme control, as it is the intensity of the snare drum that guides the orchestra to increase in volume for the entire piece.

Some snare drum music is specifically designed for solo playing. This music is used to show the technique of the drummer and increase skill. Drummers routinely use solo snare drum pieces to audition for orchestra, band and other ensemble positions.

The last type of snare drum music is small ensemble music. This is music orchestrated for several players that does not qualify as small band music. For instance, players could form a snare drum quartet, or the snare player could perform with marimba and tumbadoras (congas). Members of the ensemble do not have to be all percussionists, and this type of music is not limited to a particular genre, although overall it might best be grouped as classical.

Musical Expert is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Musical Expert, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.