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.

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