Author: John Tafoya

Title: The Working Timpanist’s Survival Guide

Description: John Tafoya has compiled a book of some of the Timpani excerpts most commonly encountered on orchestral auditions. The book contains eacg excerpt in two forms, one with original markings and one with Mr. Tafoya’s interpretations and advice. This can refer to phrasing, dynamics, muting, or any other variable. Each excerpt has suggestions for what kind of mallet to use, correct tempos, and which drums to use. Each excerpt also has a paragraph written about it, in which Mr. Tafoya describes both his approach to the excerpt and various techniques for learning it. The book also contains a section at the end with extra-curricular advice, such as for how to prepare to for an audition and how to prepare for a first rehearsal. Included with the book is a CD-rom which contains the entire Timpani part to each of the pieces covered within the book. As its name suggests, this book is an absolute-must for any serious student or anyone aspiring to be a Timpanist.

Pieces covered:

  • Mozart: Symphony no. 39
  • Beethoven: Symphonies nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9
  • Brahms:  Symphonies nos. 1, 4
  • Tchaikovsky:  Romeo and Juliet : overture fantasy, Symphony no. 4
  • Elgar:  Enigma variations
  • Hindemith: Symphonic metamorphoses
  • Richard Strauss: Death and transfiguration, Burleske : for piano and orchestra
  • Bartok: Concerto for orchestra ; Music for strings, percussion and celesta
  • Shostakovich:  Symphony no. 1
  • Mahler: Symphony no. 5
  • William Schuman: New England triptych
  • Stravinsky: Rite of spring
  • Wagner:  Siegfried’s funeral music : from Götterdämmerung

Annotated by Ethan Pani