Timpani: description

A skin (plastic or calf) stretched over a copper bowl. Tuning is adjusted by cranking keys around the rim, or by pedal.
Panshot around timps:
Timp sizes:
Ranges of individual timps:
Ranges of the timpani set:
Timpani designs:
A panshot across gauge and pedal:
Action of the gauge:
Pedal action: gliss:
Pedal action: scales:
Pedal action: mechanism:
History of the timp:
Fixed tuned timps:
All about kettledrums:

Timpani: beaters

Timp beaters:
Sound qualities of various beaters:

Timpani: notes

About using gauges:
A tip about orchestrating with pedal timps:

Timpani: listen/view

Pedal glissando:
Ranges of gliss:
Upturned cymbal on timp:
Wineglass on timp:

Mahler 'Symphony No. 4' (314-320)

Loud roll
Quiet roll

Arpeggio - soft sticks
Arpeggio - medium sticks
Arpeggio - wooden sticks
Pedal gliss
Rolled pedal gliss
An improvisation showing off the timps


Skins stretched over metal frames, tunable by rotating the drum. Available sizes/tunings are as follows:
18" E2-C#3
16" F2-F3
14" G2-G3
12" B2-B3
10" G3-G4
8" C4-C5
6" E4-E5
Beaters: any drumsticks or soft beaters.

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at] bathspa.ac.uk