Imagine the iconic ‘20th Century Fox’ jingle without the majestic opening snare rolls. How would you know it’s truly time to dive into your king-sized popcorn?
A concert snare might look and sound like any regular old snare, but its function makes it an entirely different beast. Very rarely will you hear them on the 2 and 4, but playing phrases intended as just another layer of the overall composition, forcing even the most technical players to brush up on their reading and rudiments.
Much like most snares they are made primarily of either wood or metal, but players are gifted with more snare strainers on the bottom head for added versatility and adjustment to the sound. This gives them that extra crispy, dry sound useful for cutting through the rowdiest of trombone sections. This also benefits the player, giving them more articulation than Stephen Fry after a double espresso, meaning that every well placed (and not so well placed) stroke can be identified in any dynamic range, from soaring symphonies and quiet concerti.
Manufacturers tend to be either standard bearers in the orchestral percussion world (such as Yamaha or Pearl) or independent companies, such as Majestic, that specialise in fewer but more exclusive instruments.