Timpani: Definition, History & Facts


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Timpani can be tuned to different pitches by making the drum head:

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1. Timpani were originally tuned by tightening screws on the top of the drum by hand. What do modern timpani have to make tuning easier?

2. Modern orchestras typically have four, and sometimes five, timpani. How many timpani were typically in the orchestras of the 17th century?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

This quiz/corresponding duo will gauge your knowledge of the history of the timpani. You'll need to know how the timpani is tuned and what modern timpani have to make turning easier.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

Use this printable worksheet and quiz to review:

  • How the timpani can be tuned
  • What modern timpani have to make tuning easier
  • Number of timpani in 17th-century orchestras
  • Sticks striking the timpani
  • Arrangement of the timpani

Skills Practiced

This worksheet and quiz will let you practice the following skills:

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the timpani
  • Interpreting information - verify you can review information regarding the timpani's tuning method and interpret it correctly
  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related humanities lesson

Additional Learning

To learn more about the origins and features of this instrument, review the corresponding lesson titled Timpani: Definition, History & Facts. This lesson will help you:

  • Understand what a timpani is and what it's also known as
  • Identify the parts and features of the timpani
  • Appreciate the history of the timpani including notable changes to it
  • Describe how the timpani are classified and the nature of its written music