FAQ: How To Write Music For Timpani?


What note does timpani play?

The range of the 29” drum can go from F up to D and the 26” drum can go from Bb to F#. With these pitches available you’ll be able to play most two drum timpani parts.

What type of music is the timpani used for?

Timpani evolved from military drums to become a staple of the classical orchestra by the last third of the 18th century. Today, they are used in many types of ensembles, including concert bands, marching bands, orchestras, and even in some rock bands. Timpani is an Italian plural, the singular of which is timpano.

Can a timpani play a melody?

The timpani is an indispensable part of any orchestra, with its heavy bass sound that resonates deep in your abdomen. It is capable of producing accurate pitches, and can even be used to play a melody.

Is timpani high or low?

High notes on a timpano (single drum) are made because the head tension is high and tight. The membrane of the skin doesn’t vibrate as long and so you need to play faster to keep the roll resonating. Conversely, timpani that are tuned to low notes in their registers have loose heads and loose heads will vibrate more.

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Can timpani play lots of pitches?

Tuning modern orchestral timpani is continuous. You can tune to any frequency. Also, in some compositions, the timpanist is required to re-tune the drums to different pitches while the orchestra is playing around them.

How do you write an Epicu percussion?

Quick Tips: How To Write Epic Percussion

  1. Laying The Foundation. Here is an example of starting off really basic.
  2. Building Rhythmic Interest With Layers.
  3. Spreading Out Your Drums On Multiple Tracks.
  4. Adding Musicality With Accents.
  5. Pan Your Tracks For A Greater Depth Of Field.

Is the timpani hard to play?

Timpani playing is deceptively tricky. On the surface the rhythms are generally easy and usually you are asked to play only two notes. But, there is an awful lot of technique involved in playing these amazing drums properly.

Did Mozart use timpani?

The timpani roll was often employed in the orchestra before Beethoven, for instance Mozart favored it for sustaining notes. Other pieces that Beethoven also employed the loud timpani roll harmonically in, were pieces such as Concerto for Violin (1807), and Beethoven’s Mass in C, composed in the same year.

How does a timpani sound?

Timpani – Sound characteristics Dull, thunderous, booming, deep, heavy, powerful, mellow, velvety, substantial, resonant, round, rumbling, dead, dry, hollow. The resonance of a mf tone lasts about 4–5 seconds on the large drum and 3–4 seconds on the small one.

How fast can timpani play?

As long as it’s well tuned, in a pinch a moderately good timpanist can change pitch fairly accurately in 3-4 seconds.

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Is the timpani a Idiophone?

111.2 Percussion idiophones, includes many percussion instruments played with the hand or by a percussion mallet, such as the hang, gongs and the xylophone, but not drums and only some cymbals. 21 Struck drums, includes most types of drum, such as the timpani, snare drum, and tom-tom.

How much does a set of timpani cost?

It can take up to one to two years to build a complete set of timpani and they probably cost more than your car. James adds: They cost anywhere between $30,000 and $50,000. 7. A single timpano drum (pedals and all) can weigh as much as 140 pounds.

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