Definition and background:
A tremolo effect performed on a drum (or almost any percussion instrument) using a continuous series of strokes. In short, the roll is a method to produce a sustained sound on a drum. Rolls are used on other percussion instruments such as the marimba and the xylophone to sustain the sound. There are a numerous ways to produce a roll and there is an entire group of rolls as part of the standard list of drum rudiments. The most common types of rolls are the single stroke roll and the multiple bounce roll also known as the long roll.A musical ornament that directs the musician to perform the indicated chord as an arpeggio or broken chord.See also arpeggio; broken chord. a series of rapid drum beats, played so fast that they seem to merge into one continuous sound
Drum roll. Rolls (single stroke, double stroke, 5 stroke, etc.) that help make up the 40 drum rudiments.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary