In 1989, an ad-hoc steelpan committee was set up to agree on the need for a standardised steelpan terminology. The Committee members included the chairman of the Caribbean Industrial Research Institue, a representative from the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Culture and Creative Arts, the secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standard and the chairman of the Pan Tinbago.  

The idea to compile a glossary came about from the everyday use of synonyms in the steelpan industry. As these synonymous terms were local in both origin and application, the committee had to consider as many terms as possible that may be of special interest to the steelpan industry.