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A timpanist with Don Rico and his 16 Gypsy Girls, ca. 1932. (Getty Images)

For Thanksgiving, the Other Kind of Drumsticks

by Miles Hoffman
Nov 23, 2006 (Morning Edition)

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If it's Thanksgiving, it must be time for another musical pun from Miles Hoffman. Last year, the music commentator chewed on musical leftovers. Before that it was symphonic turkeys. He's even demonstrated the art of plucking. This year, Hoffman beats a path into the studio with — what else? — drumsticks.

Hoffman joins Renee Montagne for a holiday review of drums, triangles and other percussive instruments.

"The first drums that were used in Western orchestras were the timpani, or the kettle drums," Hoffman says. They first appeared in Europe in the 1400s, and they had been imported from (drum roll, please....) Turkey, where they had been used in cavalry bands.

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