-> ''"BUM-BUM-BUM-BUM-'''BUM!'''"''

There's something about those deep-sounding drums tuned to play specific notes (traditionally two notes a perfect fourth apart) that evokes a visceral reaction out of anyone who hears it. Expect any bit of music with timpani in it to be played for maximum drama value. For extra awesome, add an ever louder roll.

Compare DrumRollPlease. For the quiet version, see HeartbeatSoundtrack.


[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* In ''Disney/MakeMineMusic'', the hunters are represented by timpani.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* Parodied in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'' as Spaceball 1 is transformed into (BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM)...'''Mega Maid'''.: The dramatic timpani are played by an ''actual'' timpanist in the spaceship itself. And in case you thought that was a one-off gag, the timpanist [[BrickJoke is one of the evacuees]] when the SelfDestructMechanism is activated.
* In ''Film/OnTheWaterfront'', the soundtrack by Music/LeonardBernstein has the quiet title music followed by a pounding fugato for three drummers (though the third is actually on tuned drums rather than timpani).
* ''Film/ANewHope'' features one during the trench run, as the technicians aboard the Death Star prepare to fire the [[EarthShatteringKaboom Super]][[FrickinLaserBeams laser]] the second time.
* In ''Film/GalaxyQuest'', when Taggart is going back home for the first time and still doesn't realize it's all real, as the bay doors of the ''Protector 2'' open and he sees the space vista, dramatic timpani music plays.
* The first half of the opening credits of ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' (the half which has FunWithSubtitles) is accompanied by a piece of stock music called "Ice Floe No.9", dominated by pounding timpani and enigmatic xylophone which combines with the white text on black background to create an atmosphere [[SoundtrackDissonance deliberately at odds]] with the comedy subtitles and the typical Creator/MontyPython absurdism that follows.
* Parodied in ''Film/WaitingForGuffman'': the overture from [[ShowWithinAShow "Red White And Blaine"]] features a dramatic timpani... but the dude who's playing it is also hitting an absurdly high trumpet note at the same time.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Used during the "EpicFail" segment of ''Series/AttackOfTheShow''.
* Formerly used at the start of the BonusRound on ''Series/WheelOfFortune''...
** ...and at the start of ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' when Art Fleming was host.
* Used after the opening of ''Series/{{Concentration}}'', and before contestant introductions.
* The infamous Viacom "V of Doom", combined with the synth piano and and quickly zooming in Viacom V logo, ''freaked'' people out.
* Used, and called for ("TIMPANI!), in the yearly MDA {{Telethon}} when updating the large display showing the amount pledged, at least some years.
* ''Series/GetSmart'' would do a slow version of this during suspenseful moments.


[[folder: Music ]]

* Richard [=Strauss=]'s "''Music/AlsoSprachZarathustra''" features this in its famous opening, "Sunrise." It never recurs in the remaining half-hour of the work.
* Music/GustavMahler was well-known for writing spectacular timpani flourishes into his symphonies:
** Symphonies Nos. 1 (first movement), 5 (first and second movements) and 6 (first movement) all provide dramatic timpani to increase excitement at climactic moments.
** The finale of Symphony No. 3 has the final cadence underlined by two timpanists pounding out "not with brute force--full, noble tones."
** The finale of Symphony No. 7 begins with a bravura flourish played on four timpani.
** A minimalistic but attention-getting timpani volley opens the third movement of Symphony No. 2.
* The first measure of Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor features a timpani roll that goes from near silence to near deafening to herald a massive chord from both the pianist and the full orchestra.
* Carl Nielsen's Symphony No. 4 (''The Inextinguishable'') ends with a duel between two timpanists, placed at opposite sides of the orchestra. Yes, that is as spectacular as it sounds...
* The fourth movement of Music/DmitriShostakovich's Symphony #5 in D Minor starts and finishes with timpani solos.
* The "Tuba mirum" in Music/HectorBerlioz's Grande Messe des morts (the French title for the Requiem mass) and Music/BenjaminBritten's "War Requiem" has loud fanfares accompanied by overpowering drum rolls. "Be slowly lifted up" in the War Requiem is accompanied by timpani volleys played on three drums.
* Havergal Brian's "Gothic" Symphony begins with a short crescendo leading to a loud outburst from two timpanists. The timpani motif recurs at various points, particularly in "Judex crederis esse venturus," where each of the four additional brass bands comes online accompanied by its own half-chorus and its own dramatic timpanist, and in "Non confundar in aeternum," whose two massive crescendos are launched by the six timpanists.
* In Music/PeterAndTheWolf, when the hunters enter, there are intermittent menacing timpani outbursts, representing their gunfire.
* Music/RingoStarr plays a very attention-getting timpani in Music/TheBeatles' "Every Little Thing".
* In Music/EdwardElgar's Enigma Variations, Variation VII (Troyte) begins with a dramatic timpani crescendo played on three drums.
* The opening chorus of Music/JohannSebastianBach's ''Christmas Oratorio'', "Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage",[[note]] "Shout for joy, rejoice, rise up, praise these days"[[/note]] begins with an emphatic passage for solo timpani, occasionally punctuated by the ''basso continuo'' instruments. (The chorus was originally written as the opening chorus of the secular cantata ''Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!'', or "Resound, ye drums! Ring out, ye trumpets!" - so the drums, and shortly thereafter the trumpets, do as they are told.)
* In Music/AaronCopland's Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, the timpani pounding out the work's motto theme in the final movement would be more impressive were they not overshadowed by the organ playing at full power.
** In his ballet "Billy The Kid," the timpani are used to depict the sounds of a gun battle.
* In the first movement of Music/LudwigVanBeethoven's Symphony No. 9, when the main subject returns after the development, it comes as a massive storm in the orchestra, with the timpani in particular hammering away long after the point when you think they could have stopped. The musicologist Susan [=McClary=] famously described this passage as having "the throttling murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release", although she toned it down when she published the same paper in her book ''Feminine Endings'', by which time she'd received a shit-storm of abuse from people who were under the impression that she was comparing Beethoven to a rapist.
** In the Scherzo of the same symphony, the timpani are tuned an octave apart from each other (an unconventional tuning, but also used in the finale of Symphony No. 8). The Scherzo's main theme begins with a descending octave, which the timpanist gets to play loud and unaccompanied several times.
* The opening drum roll in "Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me)" by Music/FrankieValliAndTheFourSeasons.
* The first bar of Music/GeorgeGershwin's "Concerto in F" is a three-timpani flourish that forms half of the percussive ostinato of the opening section and becomes a recurring motif thereafter.
* Featured in the "Baccanele" from Saint-Saëns' ''Samson and Delilah''.
* In Music/BenjaminBritten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," the timpani get to lead the percussion section in their variation on Henry Purcell's theme after each of the wind, string and brass instruments have had their turn.
* The faster, even-numbered movements of Music/BelaBartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta have some fairly dramatic bits for timpani, particularly the recapitulation in the second movement.
* "Uranus" from ''The Planets'' by Gustav Holst has a principal motif consisting of four well-spaced notes (G, D♯, high A, low B). Naturally, one of the timpanists has four drums tuned to those pitches, and often plays them loudly in rapid succession.

[[folder: Radio ]]

* ''Radio/AmericanTop40'': Used before Casey Kasem announced the No. 1 song of the week. A longer one was often used on the year-end countdowns or if the week's No. 1 song hit a milestone.
* ''Radio/AmericanCountryCountdown'': To a lesser extent than sister program ''[=AT40=]'', as host Bob Kingsley would use it only on the year-end countdown programs before naming the No. 1 country song of the year. Kingsley has carried the timpani roll over to year-end ''Radio/BobKingsleysCountryTop40'' programs.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* ''Theatre/AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum'': Miles Gloriosus enters the scene to dramatic timpani flourishes; in most showings, his entourage reflects this by having several drummers.
* In ''Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen'', the Giants' {{Leitmotif}} is accompanied by pounding timpani at their forceful first entrance in ''Das Rheingold''. The timpani motif stays with Fafner after he becomes a dragon, with the interval altered from a perfect fourth to a tritone.
* In ''Theatre/PeterGrimes'', the first part of Act I's "Storm" interlude is underpinned by an incessantly pounding timpani part marked ''molto pesante'' (very heavy) in the score.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}'': present during the FinalBoss battle with the BigBad, [[spoiler: [[http://starmen.net/mother3/music/Mother%203%20-%20242%20Master%20Porky%27s%20Theme.ogg Master Porky's Theme]]]]
* Quite a bit of the ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' soundtrack, especially the opening theme and the battle against Magus.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': The battle in the opera house against Ultros features a dramatic timpani...because the music is being provided by the orchestra.
** The rest of the soundtrack itself also has dramatic timpani in a few of the themes.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zfd9krEsr-k Liberi Fatali]], the opening theme of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'': the music of Magma Rock [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y628TBNTapg features timpani very prominently.]]
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioColorSplash'': Present whenever Fan (or a replica) is used.
* ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum]]'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6z_1cCvVjA The battle theme of Arceus]] is composed mostly out of Timpani and snare sounds, with trumpets and base backing up at certain parts. The song itself, though, is a MissingSecret due to the fact that it only plays when you battle a wild Arceus, for which the item required to do encounter one was never distributed during the games' lifetime. The song itself, however, can still be heard in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver]]'' via a event Arceus that really was distributed, but in those games, it invokes LongSongShortScene.
* All the battle themes in ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' (and, by extension, almost all the battle themes in Emerald) have a timpani accompanying the melody of the respective songs.
* The boss battles against [[BigBad Bowser]] in both ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2''.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'':
** The battle between Reshiram and Zekrom has music that heavily features timpani.
** Also, the battle against Ghetsis.
** Same holds true for Pokemon Black 2 and White 2
* ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'': Dramatic timpani drumming accompanies the Rawshock chases during Nightmare sequences.
* Accompanies the one-up fanfare in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog''.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* [[http://youtu.be/IizWc4cJwbw Bugler's Dream]], the most famous theme of the UsefulNotes/OlympicGames.