Today (Wednesday, March 6), Vampire Weekend drummer Chris Tomson celebrates his 38th birthday.

Tomson formed the New York band with singer Ezra Koenig whilst they were students at the city’s Columbia University in 2006. Since then, the group have released four studio albums, with songs including A-Punk, Oxford Comma and Diane Young, winning two Grammy Awards in the process.

Playing an important rhythmic role in nearly every genre in music, the way drums are used in music has evolved since they were first played as far back as 5500 BC.

Although there has never been someone credited with inventing the instrument, artifacts from China suggest that percussionists played drums made from alligator skins, and iconography from ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures show the use of drums in religious ceremonies and cultural gatherings.

Nowadays, people recognise the drums as being part of a five-piece set. Traced back to early twentieth century New Orleans, jazz musicians would set up a snare drum, with a bass drum as well as two high toms and a floor tom.

Drummers have been appreciated for decades for their hard work. One example, Hal Blaine, played over 35,000 sessions during his career for musicians including Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond and The Beach Boys.

Rolling Stone magazine even compiled a list of the 100 greatest drummers of all time, with Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham being declared the best, just ahead of The Who’s Keith Moon and Cream’s Ginger Baker.

Like most technological advancements, the drums have also been digitalised to make it quicker for musicians to produce a song without the need for learning to play a new instrument.

Kanye West named his fourth studio album 808s & Heartbreaks due to the prominent use of a Roland TR-808 drum machine, created by the Japanese manufacturer in the 1980’s. The machine was also used for Marvin Gaye’s hit Sexual Healing.

German software company Ableton have also launched a series of programmes for musicians to digitally create music, with individual drum sounds available to add a beat to the song.

In today’s nostalgia section, we look back at times with Cumbrians have enjoyed playing the percussion instrument. Take a look to see if you recognise somebody you know.