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Topic: In what contexts "hard" and "general" timps?

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  1. #1

    Question In what contexts "hard" and "general" timps?

    Hi friends,

    I still use LOP for my timpani (because I like them) and until now have been using the "General" patches. I wonder in what contexts are the "Hard" patches more appropriate... Is this for louder stuff, of just for more articulation and not necessarily "hard" passages? When and how often do timp players switch mallets?

  2. #2
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    Re: In what contexts "hard" and "general" timps?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterRoos
    Hi friends,

    I still use LOP for my timpani (because I like them) and until now have been using the "General" patches. I wonder in what contexts are the "Hard" patches more appropriate... Is this for louder stuff, of just for more articulation and not necessarily "hard" passages? When and how often do timp players switch mallets?
    My somewhat sketchy understanding:

    The choice of mallet is, for the most part, based on color considerations. It is therefore usually made by the comopser and marked in the part. It seems a safe assumption that if unmarked, the part will be played with the player's (or director's) choice of mallet.

    I don't think dynamics really enters into this choice. As above, it has more to do with color and attack. No doubt during an ochestral tutti, the player would certainly favor hard over soft mallets, This would have more to do with cutting through timbre-wise than playing loud enough.

    So yeah, it's for correct blend in ensemble playing, and in solo playing strictly about timbre. Timpani have a pretty dang big dynamic range, and don't need no stinkin' mallet to help in that department.

    ....And players switch as often as called upon by the composer-unless the composer hasn't left enough time....then it becomes the composer's problem. I'd imagine the changes are more frequent in contemporary music, i.e. in Haydn one could probably get away with one set of mallets for an entire symphony (don't quote me on that), but in 20th Century chamer works there are everything from mallets to wire brushes to coat hangers used on the things within a single movement.

    I haven't done a mallet change in any of my sampled music, but if you can load up an extra, I bet it'd be a cool way to breathe a little life into the percussion section....y'know: anything to make it sound a little more real world is worth it.

    Belbin

  3. #3

    Re: In what contexts "hard" and "general" timps?

    Judging by the (few) timpanists I know personally, there is no such thing as a "general" stick.

    A timpanist on the following page has a paragraph regarding sticks which might prove interesting:
    http://members.cox.net/datimp/duffart.html


    Like Lee says, try to get some demonstrations from a good player. Make sure you bring a tape recorder!

  4. #4

    Re: In what contexts "hard" and "general" timps?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbin
    but in 20th Century chamer works there are everything from mallets to wire brushes to coat hangers used on the things within a single movement.
    Just be sure you don't ask for loud dynamics from a novel beater that can damage the heads. Unless you are supplying sacrificial heads...

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