During the 1930’s on the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago the ‘Steel Pan’ was developed by a few talented and creative individuals. In the city of Port of Spain, a new instrument was invented; the very first steel pan. The steel drum or steel pan is a percussion instrument which was made from a biscuit tin or 55 gallon oil drum. The instrument evolved out of earlier musical practices. One percussion instrument in Trinidad and Tobago was Tamboo Bamboo. Tamboo Bamboo are sticks made of bamboo wood which are played by hitting them on the ground and with other sticks. Tambo Bamboo was later replaced by empty Biscuit Tins. Because Steel Pan was such an amazing invention, by the 1940’s the Tamboo Bamboo and Biscuit Tins were both replaced by the Steel Pan. There are several variations which make up the family of steelpans; Tenor, Double Tenor, Double Second, Double Guitar, Tenor Bass, Six Bass, there is even an E-Pan and a G-Pan!

SteelPan Types Typical number of Notes Tonal Range
 Tenor  20  G2 – D4
 Double Tenor  32  F3 – C6
 Double Second  30 F#3 – B5
 Double Guitar  28 Bb2 – C#5
 Tenor Bass  20  G2 – D4
 Six Bass  18  C2 – F3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SteelPan Bands and Locations

Band Location
Invaders Woodbrook
Silver Stars Woodbrook
Phase II Woodbrook
Starlift Woodbrook
Skiffle San Fernando
Fonclare San Fernando
All Stars Port of Spain
Renegades Port of Spain
Sfortzata Curepe
Exodus St Augustine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Songs played on a SteelPan