A drumhead or drum skin is a membrane stretched over one or both of the open ends of a drum. The drumhead is struck with sticks, mallets, or hands, so that it vibrates and the sound resonates through the drum.
Originally, drumheads were made from animal hide and were first used in early human history, long before records began.
Despite the benefits of plastic heads, drummers in historical reenactment groups such as fife and drum use animal skin heads for historical accuracy. Skin heads are used on most hand drums, including djembes, frame drums, bongos and congas, 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 fiber, such as kevlar. Kevlar heads are also used in marching percussion.
A drum "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 flanged 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 used to screw the tension rods into the lugs.