The origin of steel drums...

The following information is reprinted with permission from: Tropical Hammer Steel Drum Crafters:

"We are pleased to share with you this information concerning the instruments that comprise the only complete orchestral family created in the twentieth century and welcome any inquiries you have in reference to steel drums.

The first true "pan" to be used by bandsmen was the empty biscuit container. The next development in this intensely exiting period was the discovery that when one hammered a paint pan from the inside outward, leaving the bumps and hollows of the hammer, different sounds could be obtained. It was not long after that the length of the bent steel gave way to the pan that would produce simple melodies.

The Steel Drum instrument was invented on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad in 1946. Ellie Manette is recognized as the principal developer and innovator of the steel drum. As a youth, he fabricated instruments from discarded 55 gallon steel oil drums and is credited with bringing the art form out of social ostracism.

Since its creation, the steel drum has grown to a family of nine and comprise the only complete orchestral family created in the twentieth century. The voices produced by these instruments range from soprano to bass and have delighted thousands of people world-wide.

Today the art form continues to experience advancements as schools, community groups, world fairs, educational TV, amusement parks and performing arts programs play major roles in exposing these unique instruments to the world."

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How they're made...

Steel drums or "pans" are made from 55 gallon oil barrels. They are still hand made, one at a time.

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About these recordings...

The main focus of these recordings is two coustom sets of double tenor pans. They were custom made for Island TIme by Tropical Hammer in Sanford, FL.

Other instruments included: Geminhardt Flute, Martin Acoustic Guitar, Fender Strat Electric Guitar, Rickenbacker Bass Guitar, Fender Fretless Bass Guitar, Ludwig & Yamaha Drums, Roland Synthesiser and a cool set of windchimes.

All arrangements, production, performance and recording are the original work and sole property of Island Time. In short, we played every note, on every instrument, on every song.

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Find Out More...

There are many resources for steel drum info on the web. There are also lots of really bad instruments available on auction sites, etc..

If you want the real thing, go to: Tropical Hammer Steel Drum Crafters

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