snare drum, small drum having a drumhead at either end. One head is struck with wooden drumsticks, and on the other are stretched several strings, called snares, which cause a rattling against the head. The snare drum was used only in military bands until the 19th cent., when it became an orchestral instrument.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on snare drum from Fact Monster:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Music: Theory, Forms, and Instruments