The steel pan is the national instrument of Trinidad. First made from discarded oil drums when hand drums were banned under British rule, it is the only musical instrument invented in the 20th century.
Pans were originally informally pounded into a dish-like shape, tempered by fire, grooved, and tuned--until they were workable musical instruments. Now a standardized instrument, the tenor pan, or lead pan, carries the melody and can play 29 notes over 2.5 octaves in the higher register, while the newer G-Pan, originated at the University of the West Indies, can play 37 notes over 4 octaves. The pans need to be tuned every few months.
|pan musical instrument with standardized markings at Dan-Demonium pan yard in Trinidad|
pan yards in Port of Spain Be sure to visit a pan yard for a performance that will knock your socks off. Look for posters around town advertising current performances.
|Invaders perform at pan yard in Trinidad|
●Dan-Demonium Pan player and song writer Kwesi Paul has been playing since he was 8 years old. Here you will see pans in various stages of formation.
|Kwesi Paul at Dan-Demonium pan yard in Trinidad|
●I saw the Invaders steel pan orchestra and the Les Coteaux Folk Performers calypso dancers perform at another pan yard.
|Darron Scotland of the Les Coteaux Folk Performers calypso dancers performs a delicate maneuver at a pan yard in Trinidad|
Jaffa restaurant is just across street. Named for the play in cricket that is a perfect delivery, this Mediterranean restaurant is situated at the home of cricket in Trinidad. A British high tea with scones and clotted cream is served on Wednesdays. Queens Park Oval, 94 Tragarete Rd., Level 2, (868) 622-6825.
|bar at Jaffa restaurant in Port of Spain, Trinidad|
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images and videos ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers