Sweet Sounds of the Trinidad Steel Pan

While traveling you learn so much. Each day presents you with an opportunity to learn about the country that you are visiting. Did you know the steel pan was created in Trinidad and is the only acoustic, nonelectric instrument invented in the 20th century? Steel pans (steel drums) were created in the 1930s, but steel pan history can be traced back to the enslaved Africans who were brought to the islands during the 1700s.

Trinidad Steel Pan: How Steel Pans are Made

The pans are hammered on the surface with different indents. Each area on the drum makes a different sound based on its position and size. These drums became the main percussion instruments in the annual Trinidadian carnival festivities. I was happy to get to hear it while in Trinidad while I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad. There was also an artistic mural at the arrival hall at the airport that displayed the steel pan and had its history.

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