Drumming burns more calories than weightlifting, hiking or cycling do in the same amount of time. Image Credit: Unsplash/Josh Sorenson

Nearly every culture in the world makes use of one kind of musical instrument: the drums.

Click start to play today’s Crossword, where you can identify musical instruments from all around the world.

An integral part of many ceremonies – whether in war battles, religious ceremonies or festivals – drums remain among the most popular instruments. Here are three facts about the versatile, booming drum:

1. They are one of the world’s oldest instruments

The alligator drum is the oldest ever to be discovered. Used in Neolithic China or the New Stone Age period, the drum dates back to as early as 5500 BC. It was made from alligator hide and clay, and the Chinese used it for shamanistic rituals, along with sticks and bones as drumsticks.

2. Drumming is a workout

Drumming burns more calories than weightlifting, hiking or cycling do in the same amount of time. A study by the US-based nonprofit organisation Clem Burke Drumming Project found that a 90-minute showcase causes a drummer’s heartrate to reach the same rate as an average top-flight footballer. And the average calories-per-hour spent while drumming was around 600!

3. They were used for communication

The booming of drums isn’t just a pleasurable sound, it was used as a form of communication in medieval Europe and during the Renaissance. Soldiers would use it to send coded messages to each other. In ancient India and Africa, the sounds of drums could carry messages over sprawling distances.

4. Drumming improves brain health

According to a December 2019 study published in the US-based journal Brain and Behaviour, people who play drums regularly have a different brain structure and function from those who don’t use the musical instrument. Drummers have far superior motor coordination, and both hemispheres of their brain are able to exchange information far more quickly than untrained people.

5. The most expensive drum set

Sold in California, US, at a Julien’s Auction on December 5, 2015, the drum set belonged to Sir Ringo Starr, the drummer of the celebrated British rock band The Beatles. He had originally bought it in 1962 and had used it in at least 200 performances. The instruments were sold for a whopping $2.1 million (Dh7.71 million).

Do you play the drums? Play today’s Crossword and tell us at games@gulfnews.com.