Frequently Asked Questions

Timpani Part Errata Pages


(DAT) These errata pages are designed as a "clearinghouse" for a listing of mistakes, both probable and possible; in timpani parts of the standard orchestral repertoire.

In addition to a list of the passages in question with some discussion of the error, there will usually be a linked page containing a graphic of the full score along with further analysis.

Suggestions for additional passages are welcome. I plan to add to the list as my time and resources permit. Also, discussion of alternatives other than my own is both welcomed and encouraged.


#1 - Tchaikovsky - Symphony #4 - 1st movement - 6 & 7 bars after rehearsal letter T

This graphic of the part is from Saul Goodman's Modern Method for Tympani, page 105.

The note in question is circled in red, this part has a C, but many other sources have an A, including most scores. My preference is for the A.

Score analysis and further discussion

#2 - Beethoven - Symphony #5 - 4th Movement - Measures 391-393

See the earlier Timpani FAQ Professional Page Example #2 for analysis and discussion of this passage.

#3 - Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker - Waltz of the Flowers - measures 11-17

Traditional practice is to cut this A roll (the first timpani entrance in the piece) ONE BAR SHORT so that the timpani roll stops when the harp enters on the downbeat of measure 16 rather than where written one bar later. Study of the score shows that the woodwinds and horns continue but I have been asked to do this so many times...

#4 - Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker - Act One - #8 - Pas de Deux - 5 measures before D

This is an interesting one, the high point of Act One. The part and score both have an E on the downbeat, but a C sounds much better. The analysis page makes an important point. I have been advised recently that this note has been changed to C in the latest Critical Edition.

Score analysis and further discussion

NB: Recommended practice for such passages in an audition situation is to check the part the orchestra is using and play whatever is in front of you. Audition committees often have members who are not familiar with these editorial details; and who may react negatively to anything but the printed text, no matter how convincing the reason.


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