Definition of timpani in English:

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timpani

Pronunciation: /ˈtimpənē/
(also tympani)

plural noun

Kettledrums, especially when played by one musician in an orchestra.
Example sentences
  • Concertos for the timpani or kettledrums, the big boys of the orchestra, are certainly unusual but not entirely neglected.
  • It therefore follows the example of Stravinsky's Concerto for Piano in being scored for an accompanying wind ensemble plus double bass and timpani rather than orchestra.
  • The sound is still aggressive, but it's more orchestrated, so the other two musicians just play timpani and a couple songs with just drums and guitar, respectively.

Derivatives

timpanist

Pronunciation: /ˈtimp(ə)nəst/
noun
Example sentences
  • During the long introduction of the Finale, the timpanist is required to re-tune his instrument for the key change that follows.
  • I could have easily been a concert percussionist and made a sweet living being lead timpanist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  • Only serious timpanists with outstanding intonation skills should attempt Batigne's Duplex.

Origin

Late 19th century: from Italian, plural of timpano 'kettledrum', from Latin tympanum 'drum' (see tympanum).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tim·pa·ni

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