Real Information on steel drums (steel pans) that You can Use
Do you need solid information on how to play steel drums (steel pans) like the pros do?
Or are you just curious about this instrument?
Maybe you can play them already and are looking for tips on how to improve your technique.
Want to learn how to build one or are you just looking to buy one?
If your answer is YES to some or all of the above, then look no further for you've come to the Right Place!
Here you will find lots of information on almost every aspect of this instrument from my three decades of teaching experience which I am thrilled to share with you.
Please feel free to look around and increase your knowledge about this novel instrument. If there is something that I may have left out, do not hesitate to let me know, so that I may improve on the informational content of this site.
A brief introduction
These musical instruments are 55 gallon oil drums which have been processed and tuned to form mellow sounding acoustic instruments that include all of the 12 different notes of the Chromatic Scale.
They were invented in the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago in the 1930's and have been proclaimed as their national musical instrument. This site provides you with more information on their origin and development.
Since their birth, steel drums have evolved into "bell-like" sounding musical instruments, except that their notes contain "more controlled" overtones and have shorter decay times.
The fact that they are tuned to concert pitch has enabled these musical instruments to be played alongside more conventional instruments in many combinations, from complete steel pan bands (Steel bands)to their inclusion in classical orchestras, to small Jazz ensembles that include steel drums. They vary in size and function which enables them to be exclusively used in several combinations for all types of music and occasions! Be sure to check out some of the links to appreciate their versatility.
The level of complexity of the music that could be executed on a steel drum (Steel pan) depends on the technical ability of the player (who is called a Pannist)
So, what really Is the name of this
If you are in the Caribbean or are speaking with somebody from the Caribbean, it's best to use the name "steelpans" or just "pans" which is the more commonly used name in that region.
In Trinidad and Tobago, they have even declared that "Steel Pan" is its official name.
However, the name "steel drum" is still in wide use in the USA. In fact, this is the name being used by manufacturers of MIDI instruments when they refer to its sound in their musical instrument tone banks.
I would therefore say that the name you should initially use depends on where you are. But you are now in a position to inform others that the correct name of this wonderful instrument is the Steel Pan.