a drum consisting of a hollow hemisphere of brass, copper, or fiberglass over which is stretched a skin, the tension of which can be modified by hand screws or foot pedals to vary the pitch.
Origin of kettledrum
Related formsket·tle·drum·mer, noun
First recorded in 1595–1605; kettle
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for kettledrum
Historical Examples of kettledrum
The band at Holboch consisted of a kettledrum and a concertina.
The kettledrum is struck at about a quarter of the diameter from the ring.
The origin of the kettledrum is remote and must be sought in the East.
Oh, replied Mr. Kettledrum, you should hear the Dook admire it.
Mrs. Kettledrum rose at the same instant, and introduced her sister.
British Dictionary definitions for kettledrum
Derived Formskettledrummer, noun
a percussion instrument of definite pitch, consisting of a hollow bowl-like hemisphere covered with a skin or membrane, supported on a tripod or stand. The pitch may be adjusted by means of screws or pedals, which alter the tension of the skin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for kettledrum
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
A drum consisting of a skin stretched over a large shell in the shape of a half-sphere. The pitch of the kettledrum can be changed by manipulating screws at the edge of the skin or pedals at the bottom of the drum. Kettledrums are usually used in classical music in sets of two or more and are known by their Italian name, timpani.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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