I can't believe I have never posted this before but Percussionist DO indeed have their own music.
They can read and replicate it just like all the other instruments in a band. As long as they know how. The below link is pretty accurate as far as I can tell.
One BIG difference between regular music and percussion music, is the duration of notes.
A "Whole" note on a clarinet, tuba, or a violin, like the one pictured here..
is meant to be plaid for the entirety of the measure. (That is to say that the note will sustain its indicated volume level, for all
of the measure.. as one long note)
There is simply no way to sustain a bass drum note for the entirety of a measure.
So, it's "whole Note" status is simply to indicate that you wont strike the bass drum again until that measure is complete.
"The below link