A drumhead is a membrane
Diaphragm (acoustics)
In the field of acoustics, a diaphragm is a transducer intended to faithfully inter-convert mechanical motion and sound. It is commonly constructed of a thin membrane or sheet of various materials. The varying air pressure of the sound waves imparts vibrations onto the diaphragm which can then be...

 stretched over one or both of the open ends of a drum
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

. The drumhead is struck with sticks, mallets, or hands so that it vibrates
Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value or between two or more different states. Familiar examples include a swinging pendulum and AC power. The term vibration is sometimes used more narrowly to mean a mechanical oscillation but sometimes...

 and the sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at a greater amplitude at some frequencies than at others. These are known as the system's resonant frequencies...

 through the drum.


Originally, drumheads were made from animal skin
-Dermis:The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptors that provide the sense of touch and heat...

 and were first used in early human history, long before records began.

In 1956, Chick Evans invented the plastic drumhead. Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

 drumheads made from polyester
Polyester is a category of polymers which contain the ester functional group in their main chain. Although there are many polyesters, the term "polyester" as a specific material most commonly refers to polyethylene terephthalate...

 are cheaper, more durable, and less sensitive to weather than animal skin. In 1957, Remo Belli and Sam Muchnick together developed a plastic head (also known as Mylar) leading to the development of the Remo drumhead company.

Despite the benefits of plastic heads, drummers in historical reenactment
Historical reenactment
Historical reenactment is an educational activity in which participants attempt torecreate some aspects of a historical event or period. This may be as narrow as a specific moment from a battle, such as the reenactment of Pickett's Charge at the Great Reunion of 1913, or as broad as an entire...

 groups such as fife and drum use animal skin heads for historical accuracy. Skin heads are used on most hand drum
Hand drum
A hand drum is any type of drum that is typically played with the bare hand rather than a stick, mallet, hammer, or other type of beater. The simplest type of hand drum is the frame drum, which consists of a shallow, cylindrical shell with a drumhead attached to one of the open ends.-Types:The...

s, including djembe
A djembe also known as jembe, jenbe, djbobimbe, jymbe, yembe, or jimbay, or sanbanyi in Susu; is a skin-covered drum meant played with bare hands....

s, frame drum
Frame drum
A frame drum is a drum that has a drumhead width greater than its depth. Usually the single drumhead is made of rawhide or man-made materials. Shells are traditionally constructed of bent wood scarf jointed together; plywood and man-made materials are also used. Some frame drums have mechanical...

s and conga
The conga, or more properly the tumbadora, is a tall, narrow, single-headed Cuban drum with African antecedents. It is thought to be derived from the Makuta drums or similar drums associated with Afro-Cubans of Central African descent. A person who plays conga is called a conguero...

s, although in recent years, companies such as Remo have begun manufacturing synthetic counterparts for certain hand drums such as congas. Another common material used for drumheads is aramid
Aramid fibers are a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers. They are used in aerospace and military applications, for ballistic rated body armor fabric and ballistic composites, in bicycle tires, and as an asbestos substitute. The name is a portmanteau of "aromatic polyamide"...

 fiber, such as kevlar
Kevlar is the registered trademark for a para-aramid synthetic fiber, related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed at DuPont in 1965, this high strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires...

. More durable fiber heads are used mostly in marching percussion
Marching percussion
Marching percussion instruments are specially designed to be played while moving. This is achieved by attaching the drum to a special harness worn by the drummer. The drums are designed and tuned for maximum articulation and projection of sound, as marching activities are almost always outdoors or...



A drum
The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments, which is technically classified as the membranophones. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a...

 "hoop" or "rim" may be made of metal, wood, or other material and is used to hold a drumhead against a drum shell, either with bolts through metal "claws" attached directly to a hoop, or bolts through holes in a flange
A flange is an external or internal ridge, or rim , for strength, as the flange of an iron beam such as an I-beam or a T-beam; or for attachment to another object, as the flange on the end of a pipe, steam cylinder, etc., or on the lens mount of a camera; or for a flange of a rail car or tram wheel...

d rim. The bolts, called "tension rods," are screwed into threaded "lugs" attached to the drum shell, in order to tighten and tune the drumhead. A "drum key" is a four sided wrench
A wrench or spanner is a tool used to provide grip and mechanical advantage in applying torque to turn objects—usually rotary fasteners, such as nuts and bolts—or keep them from turning....

 used to screw the tension rods into the lugs.


Drummers muffle their drums using special drumheads like double-ply heads, "control ring" heads, and "hydraulic" heads, or various materials placed on the drumhead like o-rings, duct tape, muffling clamps, and a product called Moongel
Moongel is a translucent blue, sticky, gel-like substance produced by the drum practice products company RTOM. It has been incorporated into several products....

 which is a blue, sticky, gel-like substance also used to dampen cymbals. Drummers also place foam, pillows, or blankets inside the bass drum to reduce resonance and overtones.


  • Aquarian
  • Attack
  • Bear Percussion
  • Columbia Products International
  • Coreelo
  • Cozmo Graphics
  • Custom Skins
  • Drum Art
  • Drum Workshop
    Drum Workshop
    Drum Workshop is a drum and hardware manufacturing company based in Oxnard, California. Their slogan is "The Drummer's Choice".-History:...

  • Earthtone
  • Evans
    D'Addario is a manufacturer of musical instrument strings, primarily guitar strings, currently headquartered in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York...

  • Halifax & Co
  • HeadFx
  • Head First
  • Honsuy
  • Ludwig-Musser
    Ludwig-Musser is a drum and percussion instrument manufacturer that is part of the Conn-Selmer division of Steinway Musical Instruments.The first product made by the Ludwig brothers, William and Theobaldner , was a bass drum pedal capable of playing faster beats than was typical of products of the...

  • Remo
    Remo is a male given name of Latin origin - see Romulus and Remus.Remo may also refer to:* Remo, an American drum skin company* Remo , another name for the German wine grape Riesling* Remo language, a Panoan language of Brazil and Peru...

  • Rockenhedz
  • RMV
  • Vellum Head Co.
  • Vintage Logos
  • Yamaha Drumheads
    Yamaha Drums
    Yamaha Drums is a subsidiary of the Yamaha Corporation founded in 1967. The company manufactures acoustic and electronic drum kits as well as percussion instruments, marching band equipment, and drum hardware.-Production:...

External links

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