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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, November 28, 2011


The PMC Quick Note is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest. The Quick Note contains helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues!

Don't You Wish All Of Your Percussionists Knew This Stuff About Timpani?

Here is pop quiz about timpani. Do your students know these things?

  • How often should timpani heads be replaced?
  • What are the most common sizes of timpani?
  • What are the three common grips for playing timpani?
  • Describe when it is preferrable to use double sticking versus cross-sticking.
  • What type of rolls should you use when playing timpani?
  • Describe the process for muffling the timpani.
  • Name the proper pitch range for each drum.
  • When learning to tune the timpani, what is the first and most important skill to practice?
  • Describe how changing the speed of your stroke can affect tonal color and articulation.

There is a tremendous resource to help your students learn this information. The Vic Firth website has videos that cover these timpani topics. Here is a link to a timpani quiz containing the questions above, plus many more. Here is a link to the Vic Firth site which contains the videos. You can also view a chart of intervals which is very helpful as students learn to tune each drum. Enjoy!

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center Representative


Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


Springfield Bob Hopkins, Wayne Blades, Jason Moore, Mike Steffen, AAron Bryan (417) 882-7000
Columbia Paul Bowen (573) 256-5555
Liberty Ken Crisp, Harlan Moore, and Victoria Clymore (816) 792-8301
Joplin AAron Bryan (417) 781-3100
Broken Arrow Mark VanVranken and Bryan Snyder (918) 286-1555


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