steel drum

steel drum


: a metal drum shaped like a bowl or barrel that makes different sounds when it is hit at different places

Full Definition of STEEL DRUM

:  a musical instrument originally developed in Trinidad that is played by hammering raised and tuned portions of the bottom of an oil drum

First Known Use of STEEL DRUM


steel drum

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Tuned gong made from the end, and part of the wall, of an oil barrel. The barrel's end surface is hammered into a concave shape, and several areas are outlined by chiseled grooves. It is heated and tempered, and bosses or domes are hammered into the outlined areas; the depth, curvature, and size of each boss determines its pitch. Melodies, complex accompaniments, and counterpoint can be played with rubber-tipped mallets on a single drum. The steel drum originated in Trinidad in the 1940s. It is usually played in ensembles, called steel bands, of widely varying sizes.


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