Aug 032010
 
Reel Ting : History of Steel Drums

Reel Ting : History of Steel Drums

During the late 1800’s “Tamboo Bamboo’ band of Trinidad used pieces of bamboo to create music. Eventually, their bamboo instruments were replaced by metal one made of discarded biscuit cans, garbage can, paint cans and discarded oil drum left by American sailors during the second world war. After over 100 years of exploration and a lot of careful tuning they turned this discarded rubble into one of the world’s most soughs sounds, that of the Steel Drum.

Pan-Demonium

The instruments in a steel drum band are divided into three main groups: frontline pans, midrange pans and background pans. Frontline pans which often play the melody, include tenor, double tenor (two pans preformed at one time by one musician), and double second (two pans preformed at one time by one musician). Background pans, such as the tenor bass and six bass (Six pans or more played at one time by one musician) produce the root or bass line for the other instruments in the band
Winston Spree Simon is most famous for his spectacular performance at the 1946 Carnival, where he played his 15-note tenor pan. In 1946, Ulric Springer became one of the first pan players to use two sticks, now Master Pan Musician are using four sticks. In the early 1950’s Tony Williams created a pan with a 4th and 5th arrangement of notes in a spider –web pattern. Elliott Mannette is credited with giving the steel drum its current form. He was the first to create a pan with a concave face and one of the first to use a 55-gallon oil drum.

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