tom-tom

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tom-tom,

name popularly applied to high-pitched hand drums, usually barrel-shaped and having either one or two drumheads of skin. They are tunable to specific pitches. Supposedly of Native American or Asian origin, they are sometimes used in modern dance orchestras for special effects. The terms tom-tom and tam-tam are sometimes confused; the latter is another name for the gong.
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tom-tom

1. a drum associated either with the American Indians or with Eastern cultures, usually beaten with the hands as a signalling instrument
2. a standard cylindrical drum, normally with one drumhead
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
What struck me most was one such report about a tom-tom wala's death.
It is the hard-working people like that tom-tom wala who are making that difference in Bangladesh against all the odds.
And since the promotion is only going into its second year, I hope that what those tom-toms will be playing--when they start--won't be the industry version of that old standard, "It's Getting to be a Habit With Me."
Maybe the tom-tom player is out of town, or otherwise unavailable.
Campfire items such as tom-toms and/or rattles, headdresses, stories, etc.
Early drummers, in their search for new sounds, also adopted the instruments they heard played by Chinese immigrants in urban areas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, like the small Chinese cymbal (Bo), large gong (Da Luo), woodblock (Ban), temple blocks (Mu-Yu), and the first tom-tom (Bangu), usually a thick painted pigskin drum head tacked on to a red painted wooden shell.
As a college student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Tom Huff began haunting flea markets and Salvation Army stores in upstate New York, collecting "Indian kitsch" - plastic Indian figures, toy tom-toms, souvenirs, bottles of firewater," and products such as Cherikee Red Soda and Pow-Wow Cheese Puffs.
A Solo in Tom-Toms (1933 in a private printing, 1946 for general circulation) and Salute to Yesterday (1937) deal with Fowler's earlier years.
In "Quand Bat le Tam-tam" [When the Tom-Tom Beats], the poet celebrates the beauty and pull of his African roots.