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John Williams's use of the timpani


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I get that feeling whenever I see or hear anything from more than a month ago.

Oh, someone did it before me. That timpani makes The Adventures of Han even more awesome. The bouncing brass hits accompany it perfectly, but it goes strong solo for a good while. Perfect Williams tou

When he uses timpani in a cue, it's called a timp track!  

I especially like the beginning of "Buckbeak's Flight,"

I always thought that was too much.

No those are also Japanese Taiko Drums, wich are mainly responsible for the strong thick percussive sound of the beginning.

I thought so. Definately sounded too 'heavy' to be Timapani.

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Oh, it's undoubtedly not just timpani. Timpani can't sound like that on their own. The question is whether the other drums are tom-toms, taiko, both, or another kind of drum altogether. I'm fairly certain they're tom-toms - taiko have a different sound.

I'm pretty sure that is one large concert tom (maybe doubled by a second, but I don't think so) and 4 timpani. Both are being struck with wooden mallets, which gives it more articulation. Taiko drums have much more of a resonant sound, like Datameister said...you "almost" get a definite pitch from a taiko. The sound on the recording is also much too articulate to be a taiko drum.

I love JW's use of the timpani, to the point that it has influenced my own timpani writing. A percussion friend of mine told me once that you can always tell a John Williams timpani part, because you will need NINE drums just to play THREE notes! (He was joking.)

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I always liked the "Meeting Hitler" Timpani overdub!

DUN DUN dundun DUMM

Ha ha ha, fantastic choice of fave timpani. :P

My fave would probably be the solo heard as the Death Star prepares to fire at the end of the Star Wars.

The Lost World's The Hunt also has a great short flash of timpani in the latter half of the cue. DUM DA DA DUM dum dum DA DA DUM

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I'm pretty sure that is one large concert tom (maybe doubled by a second, but I don't think so) and 4 timpani.

Interesting. I'd always assumed it was multiple toms, but listening again, I can totally hear what you're saying - the pitch differences could very much just be the result of the different timps in the background. Thanks for chiming in!

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Oh, it's undoubtedly not just timpani. Timpani can't sound like that on their own. The question is whether the other drums are tom-toms, taiko, both, or another kind of drum altogether. I'm fairly certain they're tom-toms - taiko have a different sound.

Yes, there is no taiko drums here.

Timpanis + tom toms.

I thought this was quite an original way to score that moment when Buckbeak lets loose...

The Lost World's The Hunt also has a great short flash of timpani in the latter half of the cue. DUM DA DA DUM dum dum DA DA DUM

Yes! And the beginning of the Main Theme. I love how it tries to emulate King Kong (or what)?

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This is kind of like asking "what is your favorite use of the cymbal?" or "what is your favorite use of the string section"? Or better yet, "what is your favorite John Williams score that uses an orchestra?"

:(

What's wrong with it?

Can't one ask 'what's your favourite violin solo piece' for example?

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This is kind of like asking "what is your favorite use of the cymbal?" or "what is your favorite use of the string section"? Or better yet, "what is your favorite John Williams score that uses an orchestra?"

;)

What's wrong with it?

Can't one ask 'what's your favourite violin solo piece' for example?

In the past, I made threads about JWs use of the French horn, the English horn, the oboe, the clarinet, and the flute! :)

I think he is truly a master of instrumentalization...

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Wasnt his father a jazz musician, and his brother, Don, the percussionist?

John Williams Sr. was a very talented drummer/percussionist, especially during the 1930s and 1940s. He played percussion in the CBS Orchestra of New York and then went on joining famed jazz musician Raymond Scott and became part of the Raymond Scott Quintette. When he moved to LA with the family, he also performed in Hollywood-based big bands and orchestras.

Don Williams and Jerry Williams (John T.'s brothers) are both percussionist and they both plays in LA studio orchestras. John T's son, Mark Williams, is percussionist too.

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Some of my favourites have been mentioned already. I love Williams' timpani solos as in Battle of Yavin, and the double timpanis in WOTW rock. There's also a wonderful solo in Desert Chase, and the timpani in The Football Game has always been a personal favourite.

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  • 2 months later...
Which are some of JW's best uses of the timpani?

How about the very end of Escape/Chase/Saying Goodbye from E.T.? That Zarathustra moment? ;):lol:

Well JW does have many of those moments in his scores ;) Gotta to love them!

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I believe so.
AOTC duel with dooku has some nice timpani too.

Might also qualify as best use of flamenco music in a Star Wars film.

Olé! :)

I really think that williams pictures dooku as some old Spanish knight-gentleman, the looks fit very well, and the cape as short as it is looks like those that men wore around the 17th century (earlier and later too)

The mantle the bullfighters wear was originally a cape, and it still is in design.

Dooku rules ;)

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  • 8 years later...

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