111.241.22 Sets of gongs with divided surface sounding different pitches

Steelpan, tenor, with MT38a-1995, made from an oil drum cut into two pieces, one fitting onto the other as a cover. The outside of the pan has been painted in rings of red, white and blue. There are 23 notes on each pan, arranged in two concentric circles of fifteen and seven notes around a single central note. One of the highest notes is in the outer ring. The notes are not in tune. The player wears a sling to play the pan.

The steel band originated from Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1930s and 1940s. Steel drums are made from oil drums, the bottoms of which are formed into a bowl shape by beating. Their manufacture is a complex process, and includes 'grooving' where the note areas are separated on the surface of the bowl with a steel punch, and cutting the drum. The low notes of the bass drums require longer sides for resonance, while the higher drums have shorter sides. The metal is then tempered: heated and cooled. Finally the drums are tuned.

Collection Information

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