You can find the forte-piano timpani roll in hymn arrangements, oratorios, Brooklyn Tabernacle orchestrations, and many more church music styles.
If your usual method has been to play a loud roll and quickly bring the roll volume down, try this approach for a better tone (and less work).
- Play a single forte stroke. The volume level of the resulting tone will begin to drop.
- While the head is still ringing, bring in a soft roll under the volume of the ringing tone produced by the initial stroke.
- With some practice, you can sneak in so that the beginning of the piano roll is masked by the sound of the decaying forte stroke.