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Timpani Solos

Prelude #3

timpani solo with percussion

Composer: Christopher Deane
Publisher: Christopher Deane
Instrumentation: 4 Timpani, Gongkagui, Songba, Djun-Djun (or sub Cowbell, Small Tom-tom, Kick Drum respectively)

Program Notes:
Prelude No. 3 was written for John Feddersen, principal timpanist with the North Carolina Symphony, who premiered the work at the 1994 North Carolina Day of Percussion.  I am always interested in combining the varied musical interests of certain players.  John was and continues to be very interested in West African djembe.  I have honored those interests by integrating West African instruments into the instrumentation.  The piece also contains rhythmic ideas inspired by, but not derived from, West African drumming traditions.

“This timpani/multiple percussion solo incorporates West African rhythms in a very successful setting. Approximately eight minutes in length, the performer is required to navigate several coordination challenges between the timpani and accessory instruments. An illustration of the recommended setup is included.

The timpani sounds used include the normal beating spot, the center of the head, and dead strokes, all of which are clearly notated. Wood and soft sticks are required. While there are several tuning changes, all tunings are limited to the 26-inch drum. Musical passages alternate frequently between the timpani and West African instruments. Deane specifies that the performer should work to achieve an equal balance between all of these instruments throughout the piece.

As may be expected in a West African piece, the time signature is 12/8 throughout. However, the performer is required to subdivide the dotted quarter notes into duple and quadruple rhythms. The performer is presented with three short solo sections where improvisation is required.

The piece begins with a pseudo bell pattern in the opening, moves to solo sections for timpani, the improvisation sections, and finally returns to the opening material. This is a well-written composition with a great deal of interest for the performer as well as any audience. Students with drumset background will have an easier time navigating the required coordination.” — Mike Sekelsky Percussive Notes, July 2013

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Christopher Deane Christopher Deane
University of North Texas
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