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As timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony, William F. Ludwig, Sr. shared a love for the classical works that was only equaled by his passion to perform them on stage. In 1909, Ludwig, being the purist he was, grew frustrated when the hand-tuned timpani of the day made it difficult to play Wagnerian parts to his liking. But it wasn't long before his frustration turned to inspiration. With a more practical, portable, pedal-tuned timpani in mind, the accomplished timpanist took on the role of part-time inventor. 

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