Even our caveman ancestors had drums. Their drums were hollow logs with skins stretched across the open ends. All down through the' ages drums have been used. Soldiers have marched into battle to the sound of drums. Dancers have danced to the rhythm of drums. Drums have been important in religious rites. To­day they are an important part of all bands and most orchestras.

   The tambourine is a small, shallow drum. It has only one "head," as the skin stretched across a drum is called. Metal disks, or jingles, are fastened loosely to the sides of a tambourine. A snare drum has two heads. Across the lower head strings of catgut, called snares, are fastened.

   These snares produce a sharp, rattling sound as the drummer beats the drum. The player uses two thin hardwood drumsticks.

   A bass drum is like a snare drum except that it is much bigger. Some college bands have bass drums so big that they have to be mounted on wheels. The player uses only one drumstick, but he may choose any of three kinds. The end may be covered with soft lamb's wool, with felt, or with leather. One covered with lamb's wool gives the most muffled sound, and one covered with leather the sharpest.

   Kettledrums, or timpani, are found in almost all big orchestras. They are so named because they are shaped like big metal kettles. They have only one head. A kettledrum cannot be carried about.

   Early explorers in Africa were surprised to find that the tribes and chieftains they visited had almost always received word of their coming. They did not know that the Africans could send drum messages. "Drum talk" was used long before wireless.

   In the dead of night the sound of a good drum can be heard in the African jungles for 10 or even 15 miles. It takes skill to send messages on a drum. The messages have to be sent in code. A good drummer becomes widely known. An old African proverb tells a drummer not to eat chicken wings. A chicken makes little noise with its wings. The proverb suggests that if a drum­mer eats chicken wings, his messages will not go far.