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Launch of new Ulster-Scots Agency publication...

02 September 2009

The Ulster-Scots Agency recently published a new publication titled “The Ulster Drum”. The aim of the book to provide the reader with an insight into the history, construction, iconography and characters associated with the vibrant and unique tradition within Ulster, of Lambeg Drumming.


Known variously as Lambegs, Slashers, Batteries or Tibbies the ‘Big’ drums of Ulster are unique in the music tradition. They are the largest, loudest, double sided drums in the world and, along with the uilleann pipes, have the distinction of being the only musical instruments indigenous to the island of Ireland.


Due to their volume (drums have been measured at 125 decibels) and the context in which they have sometimes been played, these ‘Kings of Percussion’ have the undeserved reputation of ‘intimidating half the population and infuriating half of the remainder’! Exponents deny this of course but accept that to the uninitiated the sound made by the drums is often mistaken for noise and not music.


Speaking about the new publication, Michael McCullough, Director of Corporate Services at the Agency said “The book captures the richness of the Lambeg drumming tradition and records for posterity the artistic skills and great pride surrounding this unique, inspiring and historical instrument.  We hope the book gives readers a further insight into ‘The Ulster Drum’.


The Ulster-Scots Agency would like to thank Bobby Magreechan for making his archive of imagery available. Having an interest in both Lambegs and photography Bobby has become known throughout drumming fraternity as “the wee photographer from Bangor”.  His archive of photographs of drums has taken many years to build up and continues to grow.


The Agency also appreciates the input of Dr. George Holmes M.B.E. who carried out research for the publication.


Copies of “The Ulster Drum” book are available from at £9.99 total (£7.49 plus £2.50 p & p).