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Mehtern (M_\te\'rn), for solo timpani, explores the history of the Janissary Corps. The "JanissariesÒ were infantry soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. Their music is considered to be the oldest form of marching military music in the world. Their bands were known as mehtera_n. This piece draws influence from both the music of the Janissaries and their life experience in a historical context. The ominous sounds of their percussionÔthe ko_s, the nakkares, the davul, and the c_evgenÔare all evoked from the timpanist. Loosely programmatic, the seven movements of this work portray musically the historic military conflicts fought by the Janissaries, exploring both victory and defeat. The music of the mehtera_n influenced European composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Josef Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The modern timpani used in Western music today are descended from instruments used by the Janissary Corps' mehtera_n.