AskDefine | Define drum

Dictionary Definition

drum

Noun

1 a musical percussion instrument; usually consists of a hollow cylinder with a membrane stretch across each end [syn: membranophone, tympan]
2 the sound of a drum; "he could hear the drums before he heard the fifes"
3 a bulging cylindrical shape; hollow with flat ends [syn: barrel]
4 a cylindrical metal container used for shipping or storage of liquids [syn: metal drum]
5 a hollow cast-iron cylinder attached to the wheel that forms part of the brakes [syn: brake drum]
6 small to medium-sized bottom-dwelling food and game fishes of shallow coastal and fresh waters that make a drumming noise [syn: drumfish]

Verb

1 make a rhythmic sound; "Rain drummed against the windshield"; "The drums beat all night" [syn: beat, thrum]
2 play a percussion instrument
3 study intensively, as before an exam; "I had to bone up on my Latin verbs before the final exam" [syn: cram, grind away, bone up, swot, get up, mug up, swot up, bone] [also: drumming, drummed]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

  • /'dɹʌm/
  • Rhymes: -ʌm

Noun

  1. Any hollow, cylindrical object.
  2. In particular, a percussive instrument spanned with a thin covering on at least one end for striking, forming an acoustic chamber, affecting what materials are used to make it.
  3. In particular, a barrel or large cylindrical container for liquid transport and storage.
    The restaurant ordered ketchup in 50-gallon drums.

Translations

dollow, cylindrical object
instrument
  • Bosnian: bubanj, doboš
  • Croatian: bubanj, doboš
  • Czech: buben
  • Danish: tromme
  • Ewe: ʋu
  • Finnish: rumpu
  • French: tambour, batterie
  • German: Trommel
  • Hebrew: תוף (tof)
  • Hungarian: dob
  • Icelandic: tromma
  • Japanese: 太鼓 (たいこ, taiko), ドラム (doramu)
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: ده‌وڵ, ته‌پڵ
  • Polish: bęben
  • Russian: барабан
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: бубањ , добош
    Roman: bubanj , doboš
  • Slovene: boben
  • Spanish: tambor
  • Vietnamese: trống
barrel etc. for liquid
  • Bosnian: bure
  • Croatian: bure
  • Danish: tønde
  • Finnish: tynnyri
  • French: tonneau, baril, bidon
  • German: Fass
  • Hungarian: hordó
  • Italian: bidone
  • Portuguese: barril
  • Russian: бочка
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: буре
    Roman: bure
  • Spanish: barril , bidón

Verb

  1. (music) To beat a drum.
  2. To knock successively and playfully.
    Drumming one’s fingers on a table is often an expression of impatience or annoyance.
  3. To drill or review in an attempt to establish memorization.
    He’s still trying to drum Spanish verb conjugations into my head.

Translations

to beat a drum
to knock successively
to review to establish memorization

Etymology

From δρόμος (drómos) road or track.

Noun

  1. road

Declension

Croatian

Etymology

From δρόμος (drómos) road or track.

Noun

  1. road

Declension

German

Adverb

drum (contraction of darum)
  1. thereabout
  2. therefore
  3. on that account, for that reason

Romanian

Etymology

From δρόμος (drómos) road or track.

Noun

drum

References

Language in Danger Andrew Dalby, 2003

Serbian

Etymology

From δρόμος (drómos) road or track.

Noun

  1. road

Declension

Extensive Definition

The - drum is a member of the percussion group, technically classified as a membranophone. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with parts of a player's body, or with some sort of implement such as a drumstick, to produce sound. Drums are the world's oldest and most ubiquitous musical instruments, and the basic design has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years. Most drums are considered "untuned instruments", however many modern musicians are beginning to tune drums to songs; Terry Bozzio has constructed a kit using diatonic and chromatically tuned drums. A few such as timpani are always tuned to a certain pitch. Often, several drums are arranged together to create a drum set that can be played by one musician with all four limbs.

Construction

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. 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 normally 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, 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.
On modern band and orchestral drums, the drumhead is affixed to a hoop (also called a "rim"), which in turn is held onto the shell by a "counterhoop", which is then held by means of a number of tuning screws called "tension rods" (also known as lugs) placed regularly 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, type of drumhead used and tension applied to it, position of the drum, location, and the velocity and angle in which it is struck.
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.

Sound of a drum

Several factors determine the sound a drum produces, including the type of shell the drum has, the type of drumheads it has, and the tension of the drumheads. Different drum sounds have different uses in music. For example, a jazz drummer may want drums that sound crisp, clean, and a little on the soft side, whereas a rock and roll drummer may prefer drums that sound loud and deep. Because these drummers want different sounds, their drums will be constructed differently.
The drumhead has the most effect on how a drum sounds. Each type of drumhead serves its own musical purpose and has its own unique sound. Thicker drumheads are lower-pitched and can be very loud. Drumheads with a white plastic coating on them muffle the overtones of the drumhead slightly, producing a less diverse pitch. Drumheads with central silver or black dots tend to muffle the overtones even more. And drumheads with perimeter sound rings mostly eliminate overtones (Howie 2005). Some jazz drummers avoid using thick drumheads, preferring double ply drumheads or drumheads with perimeter sound rings. Rock drummers often prefer the thicker or coated drumheads.
The second biggest factor affecting the sound produced by a drum is the tension at which the drumhead is held against the shell of the drum. When the hoop is placed around the drumhead and shell and tightened down with bolts, 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 of the drum will be. The type of wood is important as well. Birch generates a bright, crisp, and clean sound, maple reproduces the frequency of the drumhead as it resonates and has a warm, wholesome sound while 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.

Uses

Drums are usually played by the hands, 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.
Within the realm of popular music and jazz, "drums" usually refers to a drum kit or a set of drums, and "drummer" to the actual band member or person who plays them.

History

The earliest known drum-like instrument is from Mezhirich, near Kiev, Ukraine, and dates back to approximately 15,000 years ago. The instrument was found at the site of the oldest known house, constructed of mammoth bones. They were found in 1965 by a farmer digging a new basement six feet below the ground. The drum-like instrument is a hollow mammoth skull with signs of wear from being hit by mammoth bones decorated with red paint.
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. Japanese troops used Taiko drums to motivate troops, to help set a marching pace, and to call out orders or announcements. 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 English word "drum" was first used.

Notes

  • Howie. 2005. Tuning. Available from: via the worldwide web. Accessed 2005 Apr 22.
  • Johnson. 1999. Drum Woods. Available from: via the worldwide web. Accessed 2005 Apr 22.

External links

drum in Tosk Albanian: Trommel
drum in Arabic: طبلة
drum in Min Nan: Kó͘
drum in Breton: Taboulin
drum in Bulgarian: Барабан
drum in Catalan: Tambor
drum in Chuvash: Параппан
drum in Czech: Buben
drum in Danish: Tromme
drum in Estonian: Trumm
drum in Spanish: Tambor (instrumento musical)
drum in Esperanto: Tamburo
drum in Basque: Danbor
drum in Persian: طبل
drum in French: Tambour (musique)
drum in Western Frisian: Tromme
drum in Galician: Tambor
drum in Korean: 북
drum in Croatian: Bubanj
drum in Indonesian: Drum
drum in Inuktitut: ᕿᓚᐅᑦ/qilaut
drum in Icelandic: Tromma
drum in Italian: Tamburo
drum in Hebrew: תוף
drum in Latvian: Bungas
drum in Lithuanian: Būgnas
drum in Hungarian: Dob
drum in Macedonian: Тапани
nah:Huēhuētl
drum in Dutch: Trommel
drum in Japanese: 太鼓
drum in Norwegian: Tromme
drum in Norwegian Nynorsk: Tromme
drum in Polish: Bęben (muzyka)
drum in Portuguese: Tambor
drum in Kölsch: Trommel (Mussikk)
drum in Romanian: Tobă
drum in Quechua: Wankar
drum in Russian: Барабан
drum in Sicilian: Tammuru
drum in Simple English: Drum
drum in Slovak: Bubon (hudba)
drum in Slovenian: Boben
drum in Serbian: Бубањ (музички инструмент)
drum in Serbo-Croatian: Bubanj
drum in Finnish: Rumpu
drum in Swedish: Trumma
drum in Vietnamese: Trống
drum in Cherokee: ᎠᎱᎵ
drum in Turkish: Davul
drum in Ukrainian: Барабан
drum in Chinese: 鼓

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

barrage, barrel, beat, beat a ruffle, beat a tattoo, beat the drum, beat time, beating, bole, bongo drum, cackle, call, canvass, carol, cask, caw, chatter, cheep, chirk, chirp, chirr, chirrup, chitter, chuck, clack, cluck, cock-a-doodle-doo, column, conga, coo, count, count the beats, croak, cronk, crow, cuckoo, cylinder, cylindroid, din, ding, drizzle, drum music, drumbeat, drumfire, drumhead, drumming, drumskin, drumstick, fall, flutter, gabble, gaggle, go pitapat, gobble, guggle, hammer, honk, hoo, hoot, jazz stick, keep time, kettle, kettledrum, membranophone, mizzle, palpitate, palpitation, pant, paradiddle, patter, peep, pelt, pillar, pip, pipe, pitapat, pitter-patter, play drum, pound, pounding, pour, pour with rain, precipitate, pulsate, pulsation, pulse, quack, rain, rain tadpoles, rat-a-tat, rat-tat, rat-tat-tat, rataplan, rattattoo, roll, roller, rouleau, rub-a-dub, ruff, ruffle, scold, shower, shower down, side drum, sing, snare, snare drum, sound a tattoo, spatter, spit, splatter, splutter, sprinkle, sputter, squawk, staccato, stream, tabor, taboret, tabret, tam-tam, tambourine, tap, tat-tat, tattoo, tenor drum, throb, throbbing, thrum, thump, thumping, tick, ticktock, timbrel, timpani, tom-tom, trill, troll-drum, trunk, tube, tweet, twit, twitter, tymp stick, tympan, tympanon, tympanum, war drum, warble, weep, whistle
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