The timpani are considered the most important of orchestral percussion instruments. <IMG SRC="assets/shockwave/timpani_sound_shockwave.jpg" WIDTH=175 ALIGN=left HEIGHT=120 BORDER=0>

They are tuned precisely by the player to a series of definite pitches, so they are not only determining factors in orchestral rhythm, but in the harmony as well. Also called kettledrums, the timpani are shaped like huge bowls and are easy to spot onstage.

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