Where do they come from?
The original steelpans took their names from tamboo bamboo instruments. These names were given according to the sounds they made. For example, the boom represents the bass.
As the steelpan developed and the pioneers looked for different ways to naturalise pan, the names of the pans changed to relate to conventional instruments.
Changes began in the 1950s when many of the arrangers began to rename their bands to become steel orchestras.
The ping pong, frontline pan, became the tenor.
The grumblers, midrange pans, became guitars.
The boom, background pans, became the bass.