Kettle Drum

Timpani, or kettledrums, were traditionally used in pairs, usually tuned within the key of the music. 18th‑century kettledrums differed less in size than modern pairs. Kettledrums which are played mounted on horseback (cavalry timpani) can be tuned by a single handle, making it easier to tune while riding. A mechanism of cords and pulleys allows the tension in the drumskin to be uniform. A similar mechanism was developed for orchestral use in the pedal timpani which allows rapid changing of pitch under foot control.

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Audio: Kettledrums, 19th century (2378, 2379).