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  • plural of drum (noun)
  • present indicative (he,she,it) of drum (verb)

definitions - Drums

drum (n.)

1.a large open vessel for holding or storing liquids

2.small to medium-sized bottom-dwelling food and game fishes of shallow coastal and fresh waters that make a drumming noise

3.a hollow cast-iron cylinder attached to the wheel that forms part of the brakes

4.a musical percussion instrument; usually consists of a hollow cylinder with a membrane stretched across each end

5.a cylindrical metal container used for shipping or storage of liquids

6.the sound of a drum"he could hear the drums before he heard the fifes"

7.a bulging cylindrical shape; hollow with flat ends

8.the membrane in the ear that vibrates to sound

drum (v.)

1.study intensively, as before an exam"I had to bone up on my Latin verbs before the final exam"

2.play a percussion instrument

3.make a rhythmic sound"Rain drummed against the windshield" "The drums beat all night"

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Merriam Webster

DrumDrum (?), n. [Cf. D. trom, trommel, LG. trumme, G. trommel, Dan. tromme, Sw. trumma, OHG. trumba a trumpet, Icel. pruma a clap of thunder, and as a verb, to thunder, Dan. drum a booming sound, drumme to boom; prob. partly at least of imitative origin; perh. akin to E. trum, or trumpet.]
1. (Mus.) An instrument of percussion, consisting either of a hollow cylinder, over each end of which is stretched a piece of skin or vellum, to be beaten with a stick; or of a metallic hemisphere (kettledrum) with a single piece of skin to be so beaten; the common instrument for marking time in martial music; one of the pair of tympani in an orchestra, or cavalry band.

The drums cry bud-a-dub. Gascoigne.

2. Anything resembling a drum in form; as: (a) A sheet iron radiator, often in the shape of a drum, for warming an apartment by means of heat received from a stovepipe, or a cylindrical receiver for steam, etc. (b) A small cylindrical box in which figs, etc., are packed. (c) (Anat.) The tympanum of the ear; -- often, but incorrectly, applied to the tympanic membrane. (d) (Arch.) One of the cylindrical, or nearly cylindrical, blocks, of which the shaft of a column is composed; also, a vertical wall, whether circular or polygonal in plan, carrying a cupola or dome. (e) (Mach.) A cylinder on a revolving shaft, generally for the purpose of driving several pulleys, by means of belts or straps passing around its periphery; also, the barrel of a hoisting machine, on which the rope or chain is wound.

3. (Zoöl.) See Drumfish.

4. A noisy, tumultuous assembly of fashionable people at a private house; a rout. [Archaic]

Not unaptly styled a drum, from the noise and emptiness of the entertainment. Smollett.

☞ There were also drum major, rout, tempest, and hurricane, differing only in degrees of multitude and uproar, as the significant name of each declares.

5. A tea party; a kettledrum. G. Eliot.

Bass drum. See in the Vocabulary. -- Double drum. See under Double.

DrumDrum, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Drummed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Drumming.]
1. To beat a drum with sticks; to beat or play a tune on a drum.

2. To beat with the fingers, as with drumsticks; to beat with a rapid succession of strokes; to make a noise like that of a beaten drum; as, the ruffed grouse drums with his wings.

Drumming with his fingers on the arm of his chair. W. Irving.

3. To throb, as the heart. [R.] Dryden.

4. To go about, as a drummer does, to gather recruits, to draw or secure partisans, customers, etc,; -- with for.

DrumDrum, v. t.
1. To execute on a drum, as a tune.

2. (With out) To expel ignominiously, with beat of drum; as, to drum out a deserter or rogue from a camp, etc.

3. (With up) To assemble by, or as by, beat of drum; to collect; to gather or draw by solicitation; as, to drum up recruits; to drum up customers.

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definition (more)

definition of Wikipedia

synonyms - Drums

drums (n.)


see also - Drums

drum (n.)


drum (v.)

drumming drummer, tambour, tambourine


-A Thunder of Drums • Alexandria Pipes and Drums • Ayotte Drums • Bass drums • Battlefield Drums • Bongo drums • Cable Drums and Reels • Charleston Police Pipes and Drums • Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes and Drums • City of Melbourne Pipes and Drums • Conga drums • Corps of Drums • Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums • Cuban box drums • DJ Ravi Drums • Dance to the Drums Again • Dancing Drums • Death Drums Along the River • Denny's Drums • Distant Drums • Distant Drums (song) • Dixon Drums • Dong Son drums • Drums (musical instrument) • Drums Across the River • Drums Along the Mohawk • Drums Along the Mohawk (novel) • Drums Around the Corner • Drums O' Voodoo • Drums and Guns • Drums and Shadows • Drums and Wires • Drums in the Deep South • Drums in the Night • Drums not dead • Drums of Autumn • Drums of Death • Drums of Fu Manchu • Drums of Love • Drums of Passion (album) • Drums of Tombalku • Drums of Winter • Drums of the Fore and Aft • Drums on Fire Mountain • Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie • Dumbarton's Drums • Dumbarton’s Drums • Dunnett Classic Drums • Fibes Drums • Folkton Drums • Gigi Drums • Gretsch Drums • Guitar, Bass and Drums • Gurkha Contingent Pipes and Drums Platoon • Here Come the Drums • Hundred drums • Jungle Drums (animated short) • Jungle Drums of Africa • Let There Be Drums • Let There Be Drums (disambiguation) • List of Tama Drums endorsers • Log drums • Mapex Drums • Nate on Drums • Native American drums • Ngoma drums • North Drums • Nyabinghi drums • Pacific Drums and Percussion • Pearl Drums • Piano Bass Drums • Piano and Drums • Piano, Bass and Drums • Pink Drums, Purple Lights • Pipes and Drums • Planet of the Drums • RVR Pipes and Drums Association • Regimental Pipes and Drums of The Calgary Highlanders • Rogers Drums • Roland V-Drums • She Bangs the Drums • Sound of Drums • Sri Lanka drums • Steel Thistle Pipes and Drums • Still the Drums • Stone Drums of Qin • Strings and Drums • Synesthesia Mandala Drums • Tama Drums • The Drums • The Drums of Jeopardy • The Drums of Tabu • The Sound of Drums • Tom tom drums • Tom-tom drums • Tomtom drums • Trixon Drums • Trumpets and Drums • Truth Custom Drums • Tundra Drums • Ugandan drums • Valley of the Drums • Vistalite Drums • Weston McEwen Pipes, Drums, and Military Band • Yamaha Drums

analogical dictionary


drum, tambour[Nominalisation]

drum (n.)



frein (fr)[DomainDescrip.]





round shape - hydraulic brake, hydraulic brakes[Hyper.]

cylindric, cylindrical[Dérivé]

frein à tambour (fr)[DomainDescrip.]


drum brake[Desc]

drum (n.)






drum (n.)




round shape[Hyper.]

cylindric, cylindrical[Dérivé]


drum (n.)

Wikipedia - see also




The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones.[1] Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a drum stick, to produce sound. There is usually a "resonance head" on the underside of the drum, these are usually tuned to a slightly lower pitch than the top drumhead. Other techniques have been used to cause drums to make sound, such as the thumb roll. Drums are the world's oldest and most ubiquitous musical instruments, and the basic design has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years.[1]

All types of drums such as timpani for example are always tuned to a certain pitch. Often, several drums, other than timpani drums, can be arranged together to create a drum kit.[2]




Drums are usually played by the hand, or by one or two sticks. In many traditional cultures drums have a symbolic function and are often used in religious ceremonies. Drums are often used in music therapy, especially hand drums, because of their tactile nature and easy use by a wide variety of people.[3]

Within the realm of popular music and jazz, "drums" usually refers to a drum kit or a set of drums (with some cymbals) and "drummer" to the actual band member or person who plays them.

Drums acquired even divine status in places such as Burundi, where the karyenda was a symbol of the power of the king.


  Drum carried by John Unger, Company B, 40th Regiment New York Veteran Volunteer Infantry Mozart Regiment, December 20, 1863

The shell almost invariably has a circular opening over which the drumhead is stretched, but the shape of the remainder of the shell varies widely. In the western musical tradition, the most usual shape is a cylinder, although timpani, for example, use bowl-shaped shells.[1] Other shapes include a frame design (tar, Bodhrán), truncated cones (bongo drums, Ashiko), goblet shaped (djembe), and joined truncated cones (talking drum).

Drums with cylindrical shells can be open at one end (as is the case with timbales), or can have two drum heads. Single-headed drums typically consist of a skin which is stretched over an enclosed space, or over one of the ends of a hollow vessel. Drums with two heads covering both ends of a cylindrical shell often have a small hole somewhat halfway between the two heads; the shell forms a resonating chamber for the resulting sound. Exceptions include the African slit drum, also known as a log drum as it is made from a hollowed-out tree trunk, and the Caribbean steel drum, made from a metal barrel. Drums with two heads can also have a set of wires, called snares, held across the bottom head, top head, or both heads, hence the name snare drum.[1]

On modern band and orchestral drums, the drumhead is placed over the opening of the drum, which in turn is held onto the shell by a "counterhoop" (or "rim"), which is then held by means of a number of tuning screws called "tension rods" which screw into lugs placed evenly around the circumference. The head's tension can be adjusted by loosening or tightening the rods. Many such drums have six to ten tension rods. The sound of a drum depends on several variables, including shape, size and thickness of its shell, materials from which the shell was made, counterhoop material, type of drumhead used and tension applied to it, position of the drum, location, and the velocity and angle in which it is struck.[1]

Prior to the invention of tension rods drum skins were attached and tuned by rope systems such as that used on the Djembe or pegs and ropes such as that used on Ewe Drums, a system rarely used today, although sometimes seen on regimental marching band snare drums.[1]

  Sound of a drum

  Several American Indian-style drums for sale at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Several factors determine the sound a drum produces, including the type, shape and construction of the drum shell, the type of drum heads it has, and the tension of these drumheads. Different drum sounds have different uses in music. Take, for example, the modern Tom-tom drum. A jazz drummer may want drums that are high pitched, resonant and quiet whereas a rock drummer may prefer drums that are loud, dry and low-pitched. Since these drummers want different sounds, their drums will be constructed a little differently.

The drum head has the most effect on how a drum sounds. Each type of drum head serves its own musical purpose and has its own unique sound. Double-ply drumheads dampen high frequency harmonics because they are heavier and they are suited to heavy playing.[4] Drum heads with a white, textured coating on them muffle the overtones of the drum head slightly, producing a less diverse pitch. Drum heads with central silver or black dots tend to muffle the overtones even more. And drum heads with perimeter sound rings mostly eliminate overtones (Howie 2005). Some jazz drummers avoid using thick drum heads, preferring single ply drum heads or drum heads with no muffling. Rock drummers often prefer the thicker or coated drum heads.

The second biggest factor affecting the sound produced by a drum is the tension at which the drum head is held against the shell of the drum. When the hoop is placed around the drum head and shell and tightened down with tension rods, the tension of the head can be adjusted. When the tension is increased, the amplitude of the sound is reduced and the frequency is increased, making the pitch higher and the volume lower.

The type of shell also affects the sound of a drum. Because the vibrations resonate in the shell of the drum, the shell can be used to increase the volume and to manipulate the type of sound produced. The larger the diameter of the shell, the lower the pitch. The larger the depth of the drum, the louder the volume. Shell thickness also determines the volume of drums. Thicker shells produce louder drums. Mahogany raises the frequency of low pitches and keeps higher frequencies at about the same speed. When choosing a set of shells, a jazz drummer may want smaller maple shells, while a rock drummer may want larger birch shells. For more information about tuning drums or the physics of a drum, visit the external links listed below.


  Moche ceramic vessel depicting a drummer. Larco Museum Collection. Lima-Peru

  Animal drumming

Macaque monkeys drum objects in a rhythmic way to show social dominance and this has been shown to be processed in a similar way in their brains to vocalizations suggesting an evolutionary origin to drumming as part of social communication.[5] Other primates make drumming sounds by chest beating or hand clapping,[6][7] and rodents such as kangaroo rats also make similar sounds using their paws on the ground.[8]

  Talking drums

In the past drums have been used not only for their musical qualities, but also as a means of communication, especially through signals. The talking drums of Africa can imitate the inflections and pitch variations of a spoken language and are used for communicating over great distances. Throughout Sri Lankan history drums have been used for communication between the state and the community, and Sri Lankan drums have a history stretching back over 2500 years.

  Military uses

Chinese troops used tàigǔ drums to motivate troops, to help set a marching pace, and to call out orders or announcements. For example, during a war between Qi and Lu in 684 BC, the effect of drum on soldier's morale is employed to change the result of a major battle. Fife-and-drum corps of Swiss mercenary foot soldiers also used drums. They used an early version of the snare drum carried over the player's right shoulder, suspended by a strap (typically played with one hand using traditional grip). It is to this instrument that the English word "drum" was first used. Similarly, during the English Civil War rope-tension drums would be carried by junior officers as a means to relay commands from senior officers over the noise of battle. These were also hung over the shoulder of the drummer and typically played with two drum sticks. Different regiments and companies would have distinctive and unique drum beats which only they would recognize. In the mid-19th century, the Scottish military started incorporating pipe bands into their Highland Regiments.[9] During pre-Columbian warfare, Aztec nations were known to have used drums to send signals to the battling warriors. The Nahuatl word for drum is roughly translated as huehuetl.[10]

The Rig Veda, one of the oldest religious scriptures in the world, contain several references to the use of Dundhubi (war drum). Arya tribes charged into battle to the beating of the war drum and chanting of a hymn that appears in Book VI of the Rig Veda and also the Atharva Veda where it is referred to as the "Hymn to the battle drum". Given the age of the Rig Veda being atleast 1500 BC or before, this must rank as the earliest practice of beating of the war drum in the history of mankind.[11]

The concepts of drums are as old as mankind. A drum is called a membranophone, or an instrument that creates sound by striking a stretched membrane with some type of object, usually a rounded stick. Drums consist of a hollowed-out piece (called the body), a membrane stretched over the end of the drum, and tuning keys or pegs which tighten or loosen the membrane to achieve different tones. While most may think that the body of the drum produces the sound, it is in fact actually the membrane and its vibration that creates the sound when struck. Drums first appeared as far back as 6000 BC.[citation needed] Mesopotamian excavations unearthed small cylindrical drums dated 3000 BC.[citation needed] Several wall markings found in caves in Peru show drums used in various aspects of societal life. The American Indians used gourd and wooden constructed drums for their rituals and ceremonies. Drums have always been used for more than merely creating music. Civil uses, messaging, and religious uses are but a few.

  Types of drum

  Handscroll detail of a Chinese percussionist playing a drum for a dancing woman, from a 12th century remake of Gu Hongzhong's 10th century originals, Song Dynasty.

  See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Grove, George (January 2001). Stanley Sadie. ed. The New Grove Encyclopædia of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.). Grove's Dictionaries of Music. pp. Volume 5, pp638–649. ISBN 1-56159-239-0. 
  2. ^ Black, Dave (February 1998). Drumset Independence and Syncopation (1st ed.). Alfred Publishing Company. pp. 4–12. ISBN 978-0-88284-899-0. 
  3. ^ Weiss, Rick (July 5, 1994). "Music Therapy". The Washington Post (Jul 5,1994). http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/72257976.html?dids=72257976:72257976&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=JUL+05%2C+1994&author=Rick+Weiss&pub=The+Washington+Post&desc=MUSIC+THERAPY&pqatl=google. 
  4. ^ Drum Lessons - Drumbook.org
  5. ^ Remedios, R; Logothetis, NK; Kayser, C (2009). "Monkey drumming reveals common networks for perceiving vocal and nonvocal communication sounds". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106 (42): 18010–5. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0909756106. PMC 2755465. PMID 19805199. //www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=2755465. 
  6. ^ Clark Arcadi, A; Robert, D; Mugurusi, F (2004). "A comparison of buttress drumming by male chimpanzees from two populations". Primates; journal of primatology 45 (2): 135–9. DOI:10.1007/s10329-003-0070-8. PMID 14735390. 
  7. ^ Kalan, AK; Rainey, HJ. (2009). "Hand-clapping as a communicative gesture by wild female swamp gorillas". Primates 50 (3): 273–5. DOI:10.1007/s10329-009-0130-9. PMID 19221858. 
  8. ^ Randall, JA. (2001). "Evolution and Function of Drumming as Communication in Mammals". American Zoologist 41 (5): 1143–1156. DOI:10.1668/0003-1569(2001)041[1143:EAFODA]2.0.CO;2. http://intl-icb.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/41/5/1143. 
  9. ^ Chatto, Allan. (1996). Brief History of Drumming.
  10. ^ Aguilar-Moreno, Manuel. (2006). [Handbook to Life In the Aztec World]
  11. ^ http://rigvedaanalysis.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/origins-of-the-war-drum/

  External links



All translations of Drums

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