How to Play the Timpani
Where to place the timpani
German-style and international-style placement
There are two styles of timpani placement: German style and international style.
In German-speaking countries such as Germany and Austria, large timpani are traditionally placed at the right side of the performer with smaller timpani to the left. In other words, the pitch increases from right to left.
In other regions, it is common to reverse direction and lay out the timpani so that the pitch increases from left to right, an arrangement that feels intuitive in that it is similar to a piano keyboard. This international style is also widely used in Japan.
Different pedal positions as well
Various pedal positions are also used on the timpani. Some timpani with locking systems have pedals placed on the left and right sides of the kettle, with the position of the instrument determined in advance.
On the other hand, the arrangement of timpani with pedals centered on the kettle can be changed with relative ease.
Players should choose the right fit for their performance style and form.