My frustration with the musical content of most timpani methodes brought me to publish these books. I’m convinced music that appeals, will help students to grow a personal technique and understanding in their endeavor to be an orchestral timpanist.
This book is focussed on the aspect of pedalling and melodic timpani music. In general the studies are in terms of pedalling more demanding than the basic repertoire for the orchestral timpanist. The fine-pedalling though is a constant factor in our profession and demands a fearless attitude towards the use of pedals. The always changing colours in the instrumentation and intonation require a constant alertness and flexibility. To adapt the intonation one needs a sensitive foot- technique and very attentive ear training. For these aspects I developed these exercises and studies, following my principle of writing enjoyable music, both to play as well as to listen to. My experience using this book in the 1st year of the Conservatory is that tuning and pedalling after a year practicing, turns into a complete natural process.
The studies in this book are based on symphonic repertoire or related to it and composed for training and guiding the serious timpani student. They contain a lot of basic practice material but most of them can also be played as a performance piece or a little suite of studies. As in the tradition of strong timpani methods like Knauer and Hochrainer, I have endeavored to write challenging and demanding studies that have a seemingly simple structure, like a timpani part in the repertoire, but need to be played with the utmost precision and delicacy as well as with the charisma that so often is part of the character given to timpani music. Every study contains rhythmic and musical material that is focussed on the world of today’s timpanist.
The development of technique, touché and flexibility, in combination with tradition of playing and awareness of musical style and color, have been integrated in every study. To help the timpanist achieve as much experience as possible without playing in an orchestra, I’ve tried to approach the musical atmosphere and reality as closely as possible. This book contains a six languages text [Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish] with every study, to touch on its difficulty or relationship to the repertoire. Already the studies from this book are used as requested audition material by several orchestra’s and organizations.
In this book, I once more have tried to present studies that are offering elements of what the professional timpanist meets in his work. I have striven to give a strong musical character to the studies, and even to the exercises, so the student can experience all facets of this wonderful profession and to make sure the studying is enjoyable. Generally the book follows the same principle as Symphonic Studies, but offers a more demanding rhythmical and virtuoso approach. The metronome numbers are omitted, because the Italian terms should give enough information about the most logical and natural tempo and interpretation for the piece. With interpretation I mean, which modes of expression are part of the music [active, full sound, staccato, leggiero, marcato, dark, etc], as well as what kind of sticks to choose, drum sizes, set-up, intonation, etc. There is always a clear connection with a type of music, a composition or composer. The information in terms of the dynamic composition, the virtuosity or the colours that have to be created are all visible in the written music, so use your musical intelligence to discover first of all what the study requires, just by looking at it and singing it through. The book is published by Pustjens Percussion Products and all volumes are available there.