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in music, percussion instrument consisting of a hemispherical metal vessel over which a membrane is stretched, played with soft-headed wooden drumsticks. Of ancient origin, it appeared early in Europe, probably imported from the Middle East by crusaders in the 12th or 13th cent. These early kettledrums were small and appeared in pairs, often hung about the player's waist. The kettledrum was introduced into the opera orchestra by Lully in the 17th cent. and was commonly used to express joy or triumph in the music of the baroque period. Unique among Western percussion instruments, it can be tuned to definite pitches by adjusting the tension of the head. Usually there are two or more in the modern orchestra, the tuning of which varies. Berlioz used eight pairs in his Requiem. Several improved methods of tuning were developed in the 19th cent.; common today is a single pedal capable of giving the instrument a full chromatic range of over an octave. Kettledrums are also called timpani. See drumdrum,
in music, percussion instrument, known in various forms and played throughout the world and throughout history. Essentially a drum is a frame over which one or more membranes or skins are stretched.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a percussion musical instrument of ancient origin; used in orchestras since the 17th century. The cauldron-shaped body of the kettledrum (made of copper, brass, or aluminum) is covered by a leather membrane. The pitch of the instrument is regulated by the degree of tension of the membrane (with screws) or by a pedal mechanism. There is a resonator opening in the center of the bottom of the body. The sound of the kettledrum, resonant and booming, is produced by two drumsticks. Two to five (or more) kettledrums tuned to different pitches are used in present-day orchestras.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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 Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Bernet Kempers, The Kettledrums of Southeast Asia: A Bronze Age World and Its Aftermath.
Milton were left to rue the missed chances when Kettledrum equalised just before the break.
The painting, showing Ralph mounted on Kettledrum, is valued at PS250 to PS450, and will be sold by Newcastle auctioneers Anderson and Garland.
Ivory and bronze kettledrums as trade commodities can be traced far back in time to very early civilizations.
Hidden somewhere in all that lush hide and timber is a little man with a kettledrum.
And the accompanying tabla, the Indian tuned drum played with the fingertips, permits a virtuosity denied the Western kettledrum and a subtlety unknown to the Western orchestral percussive "kitchen." But music, which offers some real if limited support to the author's case, is, oddly, not part of the book.
The principal protagonist on the other side was Robert Nathan, described in KFATM as "a huge bulk of a man with a kettledrum voice.
It is performed displaying weapons like pheja (khukuri), li: tong (bow and arrow), kongphe (sword), kho (shield), and danced majestically playing musical instruments such as the tangke (kettledrum) and the ta (cymbals).
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He asserted his authority by banning the playing of kettledrum which announced the movement of the Emperor.
Instrumentalists Okhtay Shadi (Tar), Afshin Alavi (Kamancheh), Hamzeh Shahriari (clarinet), Peyman Hamidi (piano), Mohammad-Hossein Afshari (kettledrum) will accompany Shahriari in the concerts.