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Timpani Solos


timpani solo
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Composer: Edward Freytag
Publisher: Innovative Percussion
Instrumentation: Timpani (4 drums) 

Program Notes:
"Ostinata" is a rudimentally based timpani solo for four drums. Very distinguishable melodies over rhythmic ostinati makes this piece a great musical statement for any timpanist. Implement variety and furious passages will enhance the presentation either in the concert hall or the competition arena. Written for advanced high school to early college timpanists, Ostinata will prove to be a great addition to anyone's timpani repertoire.

"Writing unaccompanied solo works for timpani presents several challenges for composers.  Some of these include selecting pitches that will create interesting themes, employing rhythmic variety, varying dynamics, and organizing the material into musical forms. This piece is successful in meeting the qualities mentioned. The work is scored for four timpani with F-A-D-F tuning.
The introduction calls for medium-soft mallets and opens with long rolls, which are unmetered, but scored to be about ten seconds in length. The rolls have a wide range of dynamics and are interrupted by brief, loud rhythmic statements. The intro concludes with an accelerando of steady eighth notes with the right hand playing on the high F drum while the player picks up a wood mallet with the left hand.  The first main theme acts as an exciting driving force, with the left hand performing rhythmic, syncopated patterns, while the right hand keeps the steady high-F eighth notes. The theme is obvious, with the wood mallet contrasting the softer mallet in the right hand. Later in this section, the player picks up a wood mallet in the right hand, and both hands share the thematic materials. This section concludes with repeated eighth notes with the left hand, and the player returns to the soft mallets with the right hand.  This change leads to a slower tempo, but there is no lull in energy, as many sixteenth notes and sextuplets provide technical challenges. The solo concludes when the left hand changing back to the soft mallets, and a return to long rolls, like the beginning of the solo, providing a good balance to the form.
This solo is well written, with clear notation instructions. The mallet changes are well planned, and the sticking patterns are all notated, so the contrasts of mallets and wood sticks are easy to understand. This is an excellent solo for advanced high school and young college students." - George Frock, Percussive Notes November 2014

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Edward Freytag Edward Freytag
Rowloff Productions
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