4aMUb4. Acoustics of Caribbean steelpans.

Session: Thursday Morning, December 5

Time: 10:20

Author: Thomas D. Rossing
Location: Phys. Dept., Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb, IL 60115
Author: Uwe J. Hansen
Location: Indiana State Univ., Terre Haute, IN 47809


Although it is scarcely 50 years old, the Caribbean steel pan has already created a rich tradition in its home country of Trinidad and Tobago and throughout the Caribbean islands. It has become a versatile and popular instrument, used worldwide in musical styles ranging from symphonic to calypso. Modern steel bands include pans that span five octaves from a lead pan (typically with 28 notes) to a bass, consisting of six or more drums with three notes each. The acoustical behavior of these instruments is dominated by nonlinear mechanical behavior which leads to a rich spectrum of partials in the radiated sound.

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996