Rhythms of Ulster
Anyone experiencing a Lambeg drum for the first time at close quarters is immediately struck by its intense, penetrating sound. The distinctive tone of the drum and the rhythms played on it are as unique as the drum itself. The Lambeg in its current form is exclusive to Ulster, and as such, the Lambeg drumming community is fiercely possessive and protective of their instrument’s heritage and musical repertoire. Customarily, Lambeg tunes are passed from generation to generation using different techniques, including rhymes and mnemonic devices.
Dr. David Lyttle has diligently transcribed many of these Lambeg drumming rhythms or “times” into standard musical notation. This kind of musical research is invaluable as a historical source, as there are very few existing reference materials in circulation relating to the Lambeg drum. More importantly, this piece of work represents a significant milestone in the development of a printed teaching resource, ensuring that traditional Lambeg drumming rhythms will be preserved for future generations. Dr. Lyttle has further aided this study by recording each rhythm into the below sound clips.