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ne of the traditional instruments of carnival in Basel is the drum. It is a cylindrical instrument, which is covered by a thin synthetic skin. On one of them, the drumskin, the player plays with his two drumsticks. The drummer is called "Tambour". The combination of drums and piccolos form a special kind of music. That is why one can very often see them playing together in a group. They are the most important members of a carnival "Clique" (=group).
The origin of the drum and piccolo playing is not exactly known, but it seems that they
have a military source. The marches nowadays, however, have not the same military character
any more; they are played slowlier and more harmoniously.
Most of the marches can be played by drums and piccolos together, but there are also some, which are composed only for one of them. Above all during the "Cortège" (=procession) , the drummers play some pieces of music by themselves in order to give the piccolo players time to take a rest.