I've been following and studying a particular orchestra score. I've never written for or played the Timpani or Conga before.

In the image below I see a Doit (on the Timpani) and a Fall (on the Conga).

I've tried using this articulation in Sibelius 8 but it has no affect on any percussion instrument and attempted to find a VST to use but I can't seemed to find anything. Even searching for Doit or Fall on timpani/conga using Google and YouTube brings up nothing or how it's actually performed by a real person.

Music notation score

It can be heard in this video

at 8:16 on the timpani and around 8:14 on the conga (It's the same score if this helps).

I have a feeling the composer or publisher has chosen to use this type of articulation for simplicity, so it could represent something else? Though, I don't think I've ever heard these sounds before in more traditional or classical music.

Many thanks.

1 Answer 1


The timpani one is easy: Modern timpani are tuned using foot pedals, so all you have to do is tune the drum up after striking it. It takes very little skill.

The conga one is a little harder but still very typical. You can raise the pitch of a hand drum by pressing on the drum head, so to do a fall you start with the pitch raised and then let it fall after striking it. The only trick is that it has to be done quickly because the pitch doesn't sustain for very long.

  • Thank you, that helped a lot and very informative. So basically, it's kind of a glissando I never though for such a percussion. Also, using a glissando in Sibelius/VST now produces that same sound too. Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 12:18

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