The Pan Family



The steelpan is a percussion instrument which is tuned chromatically. Its history runs deep within the folklore of Trinidad and Tobago, hence one cannot be sure exactly when it was invented or its inventor.


Steelband, steel band, steeldrum, steel drum, steelpan, pan and pan piano are but a few of the names used to describe this instrument in its singular and plural form. However, it is clear that its family name is steel, in the same way we have brass, woodwind and stringed instruments.

There are various steelpan instruments, made from one to 12 oil drums, suspended by stands.  These instruments varying in size and number make up the steelpan family. 

A steelband is an ensemble of instruments within the steelpan family coupled together with an engine room, which consists of other percussion instruments.