Evolution of the Timpani – Part 1: Introducing the Baroque Timpani

From humble and, let’s face it, slightly impractical beginnings we find out how the timpani come to be the sound of so many great musical (and historical) moments.

In the first episode of Evolution of the Timpani Adrian Bending, our principal timpani, traces how the instrument evolved from nakers, carried on horseback, through the baroque period.

"I like to think of us as the icing on the cake, the arrival point of a big, exciting moment."
Adrian Bending (OAE Principal Timpani)

Adrian looks at how old drums are constructed and changes through the 17th century. He examines how they were used differently in church and ceremonial music, as well as the difference between German and English instruments, and how we can hear that in the music of the two baroque masters of the timps – Bach and Handel.