What is the mark of an expert timpanist?
Anyone can make a sound by beating a timpani, but what makes the player a pro?
You might think that the timpani requires great strength to make a big sound… but the fact is that slim-bodied and thin people also play the timpani, both women and men. The important thing when playing is not to rely on strength, but to play with broad, quick strokes. Talented players can play so fast that you cannot even see their hands. These players can drum with an unbelievable style, as if they are moving the mallets with their minds, producing a magnificent reverberation. The timpani needs to be able to produce the volume of sound required to rise out above the rest of the brass and string instruments in the orchestra, as the timpani often sounds out at the climax of the performance.
Also, as the moment of impact when the mallet hits the head is crucial, players need to come up with the best way to strike the drum. The sound of the timpani marks the decisive moments of tension in music-and the timpani player needs to play this conspicuous instrument with a feeling of courage.