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This particular Timpano is already an antique, it was made at the end of the 19th century. Timpani are also called kettledrums and are mostly made of metal, usually copper or brass. Originally they had either donkey or calf hide on the heads. Timpani are tuned instruments and have a fifth in range of notes. During play the tuning can be adjusted. They are played in sets with mallets; sitcks with felt tips, leather, cork or even hardwood. Composers often know which sticks they wish for their compositions.


People like to make fun of the Triangle, but actually it is a very diverse instrument and the technique is very acquired. One can follow a four-year education at the conservatory for this instrument!


Xylophones come in many shapes and sizes, but the Marimba might be the most common one. The Marimba bars are made of rosewood, giving a beautiful warm sound. Marimbas have resonators underneath the bars, originally made of calebash, now they use Tubular Bells. The instrument derived from the African Balaphon.


A later model of keyboard percussion is the
Vibraphone, traditionally used for dance music. Vibraphones have metal bars. Their resonators underneath are closed off by a cap, which can rotate by the help of an electro motor. This results in an intensity vibrato. (louder/softer)
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Igor Strawinski in his studio

Related links :
Marc Zoutendijk's Classical Percussion Page
Photo Marc Zoutendijk
with thanks to Marc Zoutendijk
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