bass drum


bass drum
/bays/
the largest and lowest toned of drums, having a cylindrical body and two membrane heads.
[1795-1805]

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 percussion instrument, the largest and deepest-sounding member of the drum family, usually played with a pair of large felt-headed sticks, or beaters. In modern popular-music bands (band) the bass drum is often part of a drum set and is commonly struck by a single pedal-operated stick.

      In military and marching bands the bass drum has two heads, tensioned by rope lacings or metal rods, and it is struck on either head. Originally the bass drum was beaten with a stick held in the right hand and a switch held in the left; in modern regimental bands the right hand beats time with a larger stick than that used for the accompanying rhythms played by the left. Most bass drums used in Western-style orchestras have only one rod-tensioned head; even two-headed ones normally are struck on one head only. Bass drums can be as large as 40 inches (100 cm) in diameter and 20 inches (50 cm) in height; for special purposes (e.g., for some U.S. college sporting events) giant drums have been constructed. British orchestras often use a larger type of one-headed bass drum known as a gong drum. Similar large cylindrical drums are the Turkish folk davul and the South Asian dhol.

      Large two-headed drums have been in existence since 2500 BC when they were used in Sumeria. Not until the 18th century did the bass drum become a member of the European orchestra. When introduced it was called a Turkish drum, because it was derived from the instrument used in the Turkish Janissary (Janissary music) bands that inspired many late 18th-century European composers. Initially it was used for special effect, as in Joseph Haydn (Haydn, Joseph)'s Military Symphony (1794).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bass drum — Drum Drum, 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bass drum — (Mus.) The largest of the different kinds of drums, having two heads, and emitting a deep, grave sound. See {Bass}, a. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bass drum — bass′ drum′ [[t]beɪs[/t]] n. mad the largest and lowest toned of drums, having a cylindrical body and two membrane heads • Etymology: 1795–1805 …   From formal English to slang

  • bass drum — [bās] n. the largest and lowest toned of the double headed drums …   English World dictionary

  • Bass drum — The drum kit …   Wikipedia

  • bass drum — noun a large drum with two heads; makes a sound of indefinite but very low pitch • Syn: ↑gran casa • Hypernyms: ↑drum, ↑membranophone, ↑tympan * * * noun Etymology: bass ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bass Drum — Die große Trommel (Englisch: bass drum [ˈbeɪsˌdɹʌm]) ist ein Schlaginstrument, das für die Erzeugung von tiefen Klängen verwendet wird und in den verschiedensten Varianten zu finden ist. Sie gelangte im 18. Jahrhundert über die türkische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bass drum — noun Date: 1804 a large drum having two heads and giving a booming sound of low indefinite pitch see drum illustration …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bass drum — /beɪs ˈdrʌm/ (say bays drum) noun a musical instrument, the largest of the drum family, having a cylindrical body and one or two membranes …   Australian English dictionary

  • bass drum — noun /ˈbeɪsdɽʌm/ a large drum with a low pitch …   Wiktionary