Blake Tyson

Ceiling Full of Stars

      Percussion instruments are perhaps the oldest form of musical instruments, going back beyond the limits of recorded history.  In Western music drums are important in mediæval times, including the small copper bowls that are antecedents of today’s timpani—nakers.  Timpani—with their close musical allies, trumpets—had an important and respected rôle in instrumental ensembles right through the Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods of musical history.  And while the history of the orchestra in the 19th century focused upon the expansion of the woodwind and brass sections, it was ultimately in the 20th century that the percussion section came into its own.  Its innovations were no doubt influenced immensely by the sensational effect that visiting Javanese gamelan musicians had up