An orchestral drum, made of a metal shell which is hemispherical in shape, with the top covered in stretched vellum. The pitch of the drum can be altered by adjusting screws at the side which change the tension of the vellum.
Traditionally, two kettledrums are used in an orchestra, although the use of three is not uncommon in modern pieces.

Ket"tle*drum` (?), n.

1. Mus.

A drum made of thin copper in the form of a hemispherical kettle, with parchment stretched over the mouth of it.

Kettledrums, in pairs, were formerly used in martial music for cavalry, but are now chiefly confined to orchestras, where they are called tympani.


An informal social party at which a light collation is offered, held in the afternoon or early evening. Cf. Drum, n., 4 and 5.


© Webster 1913.

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