The bock-a-da-bock was a Ludwig Drum Company product listed in their 1928 catalogue. Two small cymbals were mounted on sprung tongs which could be held by the drummer playing the instrument.
Sometimes the bock-a-da-bock was used to substitute a drum kit. Due to the recording limitations of the 1920s, drums were not always practical to be included in a recording.
The instrument is played with a stick in one hand, while the other hand (usually the left) controls the grip. The two metal discs are then pushed together to create a sound similar to that of a milk bottle being hit.
Noteworth players of the bock-a-da-bock are Kaiser Marshall, who played it on several Fletcher Henderson records, and Zutty Singleton from Louis Armstrong's Hot Five who played a bock-a-da-bock on Armstrong's 1928 recording of "Sugar Foot Strut" (featured prominently in the introduction and ending) and "West End Blues".