The timpani has the longest tradition out of all orchestral percussion instruments. Originally used in military ensembles for marches or even on horseback, the timpani continued its military association through its frequent use in the Baroque era with trumpets. By the early eighteenth century, orchestral works regularly called for timpani as composers appreciated its capacity for dramatic effect. Most Baroque music calls for just two timpani, though by the Romantic and Modern periods orchestral pieces often called for two or more pairs. The timpani in the EMV collection are ideal for music of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, especially pieces by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert.
EMV’s timpani were made by Peter Kogan in Minnesota, who has studied percussion at Juilliard and the Cleveland Institute of Music as well as working in New York City as a jazz, blues, and rock drum set player. He designs and builds both classic Viennese timpani and Hessian Baroque timpani for historically appropriate performances. The timpani’s hardware of primarily brass and bronze castings was designed in an eighteenth-century style by sculptor Brian Leo, and the mounting system and goatskin heads are in the Viennese tradition.