2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Evolution of Steel Pan: From Tribal Roots to Contemporary Personal Expression
James B. Osbourne
Prof. Shirley McKamie, Faculty Mentor

The instruments called "Steel Pan" have had a great influence on percussion music as we know it today. Drumming as a form of communication has its roots in Africa, and descendants of African slaves taken to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago developed the unique idiophones known as steel pan drums. From the Caribbean, where the instruments became prominent in the 1930s, the steel pan eventually moved to other parts of the world, including America. The unique sound of the steel pan can be showcased in an ensemble setting, which is familiar to many, but it also has a contemporary presence as a solo instrument. Specifically, a recent innovation is a new form of the steel pan known as the Hang drum. It, like its Caribbean predecessor, has a unique sound, but this style of steel pan is more often performed by one player in an intimate setting.

Keywords: Steel Pan, Caribbean Percussion, African Drumming, Hang Drum, Trinidad


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 6-3
Location: VH 1010
Time: 8:30

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