Definition of side drum in English:

side drum


  • A small drum in the form of a short cylinder with a membrane at each end, the upper one being struck with hard sticks and the lower one often fitted with rattling cords or wires (snares).

    • ‘The snare drum of the set resembles the side drum of the symphony orchestra - both drums derive from the medieval tabor.’
    • ‘I used to play the side drum in a bagpipe marching band.’
    • ‘There was another set of timpani, another bass drum, side drums, castanets, two xylophones, and, if I recall correctly, tubular bells as well.’
    • ‘The earliest of the pieces, the Quartet of 1924, boasts an odd scoring - the inclusion of the side drum - but the music itself sounds like the most natural thing in the world.’
    • ‘But then a side drum invades, playing at its own tempo, and a battle is set up between the orchestra and this single drummer.’


Late 18th century: so named because it was originally played suspended from the drummer's side.


side drum