Steel drums are one of the most popular musical instruments in the Caribbean. They have played a big part in many Caribbean dances, such as maracas and gourds. This medium sized instrument is also used for flamenco, in flamenco dancing, tapa and many other types of music. This instrument is made from steel, which is very malleable and very light. Drumheads are made from steel too, but drumheads are generally made from wood or plastic.
Steel pans are a percussion instrument that originated from Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). Steel pan players are known as panniers. The steel drums are tuned using a steel head, which may be made of wood or plastic. Different types of metals are employed to make different heads, but all use steel drums.
In Trinidad and Tobago, steel drums are known as double tenors, and the two instruments play a duet called son Bou. This is an arrangement of drums and steel pans that has been used for folk and dance traditional forms for hundreds of years. Another common use of this ensemble is the sound of maracas (or “machines of joy”) which are made using steel drums.
The Caribbean island culture has incorporated steel drums into many ceremonies. The Cajun people of Louisiana use them for drumming, flamenco, and claves. The Taino people of Cuba also use them for percussion. The Mayan Indians of Central Mexico often played these instruments in their dances. Many maracas and gourds have been found with percussion instruments such as steel drums.
The steel drums are very versatile in the Caribbean. Pannists play the instruments for fun or for an expression of emotion. Some people may use the steel drums to perform dances, while others may play them quietly. No matter what the reason is for playing the Caribbean island instruments, everyone can agree that the exotic sounds made by this exotic instrument are a favorite in the annals of Caribbean culture.
Steel drums from Grenada are one of the most sought after steel drums by percussionist, musicians and collectors all over the world. There is no question that these types of drums make great instruments for percussionists, especially in the music of the Caribbean. It has been said that they are so good that they can be played as stand-alone instruments or as the background instrument for flamenco, a salsa, or a cumbia. For any type of musician interested in playing the unique sound of steel drums, Grenada is the perfect place to visit.