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This is a unique tunable drum that was invented in the U.S. by percussionist-composer Michael Colgrass. It has no shell and is tuned using the same mechanical principle as the rotary timpani. The flesh hoop with plastic head is suspended on a star-shaped metal frame. A counterhoop is joined by tension rods to a lower frame, which engages a screw thread in the stem. The stem is square at the base, to be held firm without rotation in a stand or drum bracket below. When tuning the drum with one hand, both of the hoops rotate together, but the lower frame moves up or down on the thread to change the tension on the head. The rototom was first heard in background music for TV shows

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