A drum kit (also drum set, or trap set) is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person (drummer). Drum kits have grown in size and components from old style jazz/dance hall kits through to modern rock/techno kits.
Drum kits are infants of the Vaudeville era. Pecuniary and theater space considerations demanded that fewer percussionists covered more percussion parts. In military and orchestral music settings, drums and cymbals were traditionally played separately by one or many percussionists. The bass drum, snare drum, cymbals and other percussion instruments were played by hand. Circa 1890, experimentation with foot pedals began. Liberating the hands for the first time, this evolution saw the bass drum played (first standing) with the foot of a percussionist and became the central piece around which every other percussion instruments would later revolve. Ludwig-Musser, William F. Ludwig Senior and his brother Theodor Ludwig founded the Ludwig & Ludwig Co. in 1909 and patented the first workable bass drum pedal system, paving the way for what was to become the modern drum kit.