Cover image for Timpani and percussion
Timpani and percussion
Montagu, Jeremy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 268 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML1035 .M66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A history of percussion instruments from the Old Stone Age to the present day. Jeremy Montagu, a performer, historian, and curator of musical instruments, discusses common and uncommon percussion instruments from all parts of the world, tracing their development and use through the ages and across cultures.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

With these two volumes, the publisher launches its promising "Musical Instrument" series, in which noted scholars/ performers discuss instruments in light of the newest research. Forthcoming titles will cover the piano, the clarinet, the cello, the violin, and the trumpet. Montagu has played timpani and percussion professionally for more than 50 years and oversaw the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments at Oxford, and Powell is a noted solo flautist and president of Folkers & Powell, Makers of Historical Flutes, in Hudson, NY. Each has written an informative and authoritative guide for those with previous background in these instruments and a serious desire to understand their place in history. Taking a chronological approach, the authors trace the instruments from earliest known records and discuss the changes in construction, social context, and repertory, as well as notable performers and makers. Montagu's appendixes include information about playing techniques and the construction of percussion instruments, and Powell's reference section contains extremely valuable coverage of past and current scholarship on flutes. In addition to being well written, the books are sturdy and beautifully illustrated. Highly recommended for academic libraries, public libraries where an interest in music is strong, and upper-level music students generally. Timothy J. McGee, Univ. of Toronto (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Volumes in the new "Yale Musical Instrument Series" are meant to present the history of an instrument "with an explicit emphasis on performance practice." Montagu (former curator, Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, Oxford) has succeeded admirably, bringing to his task a fine blend of the scholar's erudition and the working musician's sensibility. From his analysis of the documentary and (often unreliable) iconographic evidence of the earliest percussion instruments up to suggestions for dealing with the unconventional demands of some modern composers, Montagu's history is peppered with practical insights gained over a lifetime as an orchestral, studio, and early music performer. He focuses on instruments of Western art music, but in the final chapter he provides a good overview of the vast array of percussion instruments found in the rest of the world. Readers who wish to learn more will be aided by the bibliography, which though limited to sources mentioned in the text is quite extensive. Required reading for all percussionists, and a very useful introduction to the instruments for anyone else. One hopes the entire series will be as successful. M. D. Jenkins II Wright State University