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is a tuned idiophone. These instruments were invented in theearly to mid twentieth century on the island of Trinidad.
• Drum ensembles are introduced to Trinidad by African slaves and their descendants
• Time frame = 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries; the practice of drumming can still be found in limited areas/situations today
• 1884 = Peace Preservation Ordinance banned drumming during Carnival
• The word ‘tamboo’ is a Creolization of the French word tambour (drum);thus, tamboo bamboo = ‘bamboo drum’
• Various lengths of bamboo were cut and used as either stamping tubes orrhythm sticks; basically, players were simulating African drumming rhythmson bamboo
• Time frame = late 19th-early 20th century
• Tamboo Bamboo bands begin experimenting with metal sounds in the early 20th century. Junkyard items include biscuit tins, industrial containers, brake drums.
• Various sizes of container are used to simulate/replace tamboo bamboo rhythms; these instruments are purely rhythmic in nature – no melodic playing yet.
Transition to Metal (Pre-Melody Instruments)
is the earliest form of a melodic steel drum. to the short pingy sound they made. Primarily made from smaller barrels.
•Sinking the face of the barrels used into a concave shape (as opposed to a convex surface).
• Wrapping the sticks with soft material (leaves first; eventually rubber was employed) to produce a less harsh tone.
Early 1940s developments:
• Using 55-gallon barrels as the raw material for making the instrument. The 55-gallon barrel has a larger surface than previously used materials (like the 35-gallon size; see ping-pong pans above), and thus makers could fit more pitches onthe surface. Ellie Mannette is widely credited as the first individual to craft a pan from a 55-gallon barrel, in 1946.
• Implementation of a full chromatic range; i.e., steel drum instruments incorporated all twelve pitches recognized in Western music.
Mid 1940s developments:
were viewed negatively by the Trinidadian culture at large for years, because the pan men were often rough, sometimes, violent, and generally from the lower classes of society.
Steel bands and panmen (the players)
Several factors helped to bring pan into a more positive view:
- • TASPO (Trinidad All-Steel Percussion Orchestra) tour of Europe in 1951
- • Participation by females and “college boys”; that is, participation in the steel bands by constituencies that were deemed respectable by the culture at large
- • Performances in indoor, respectable venues
tune is anarrangement of a non-calypso piece that has been turned into a calypso.
is an annual steel band competition held since 1963 in T&T just prior to Carnival.
Panorama Features include:
- • Only bands based in T&T may compete
- • Each band performs one arrangement of a popular song
- • A panel of judges adjudicates the competition
to create an arrangement for the competition. The they also is charged with teaching the arrangement to the players, as most of them do not read music notation. A Panorama arrangement is almost a new composition, because the the adds much new material to the original piece.