Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Michael G. Kingan, D.M.A.

Second Advisor

Matthew R. Baumer, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Carl Rahkonen, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

John E. Stamp, D.M.A.


The purpose of this thesis is to explore the new and innovative ways in which three 20th-century composers scored the timpani in their works. This is done through simple formal analysis of three pieces of music that feature the solo timpanist: “Canaries” from Elliot Carter’s Eight Pieces for Timpani, the Concerto for Timpani and Percussion Ensemble by John Beck, and the Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra by Phillip Glass. Analysis of the timpani parts of each piece will show how the development of the timpani as a solo instrument, both within an ensemble and standing alone, has undergone remarkable advancement in the last century.