Historically a tuner or pan maker could often be identified by the configuration (or layout) of the notes on a pan.

An example of this is the Invaders tenor pan. This pan was designed by Elliot Mannette and took its name from the Invaders Steel Orchestra. 

As the steelpans developed, the pan makers continued to experiment with the note configuration. The reason for this was to

·         Improve the tone of the pans

·         Find easier ways to tune

·         Design a configuration that appeared more logical to the pannist

·         Give the pans some form of correlation to classical instruments

Today, when making a steelpan, the layout of notes and tuning are based on musical scales, chords and intervals. This section illustrates some of the popular note configurations for the pans in the pan family. However, there are variations to these illustrations as pan makers still make pans to their individual standards.