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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. Learning to do this, very quietly, while the orchestra is playing around you, is a skill required of professional timpanists. ...


4

The primary reason for this difference is in the mechanics of the drums themselves. Snare drums have both top and bottom heads that are usually tuned to a relatively high tension compared with the timpani. Hence, all the notes are extremely staccato and have virtually no sustain to them at all, so it is very difficult to play a note on the drum in the 50 or ...


3

I discussed this topic with my teacher a few weeks ago because I also had problems with dampening the timpani. I never managed to do it without adding any noise from touching the head. He gave me three tips that solved most of my problems: Although it is desirable to have the muting as silent and perfect as possible, not everything you hear is heard by the ...


1

Dampening timpani is not a complete art in itself, but it does take some practice to do well. The easiest technique is to use the pads of your fingers and palm to stop the vibration as you said, but things get slightly more complex than that. I find small quick circles with the hand on the drum head can make for a faster dampening and usually doesn't make ...



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