The Steel drum or "pan" was invented in Trinidad in the late 1930's and is one of the most modern instruments played in the world today. It is a chromatic instrument with each section producing a different note. Winston "Spree" Simon is generally credited with being the first person to put a note on a steel drum.
Originally the pans were convex, like a dome rather than a dish. Ellie Manette,
a pan-maker still active in the US today, was the first to dish out a pan
and give the steel drum its mature form. Many tuners began experimenting
with and producing tuned 'pans', eventually forming large groups of the
neighborhood panmen into orchestrated bands.
are 3 phases involved in the creation of a Pan. First, a sledgehammer
is applied to the bottom of a 55 gallon oil drum, stretching the metal
into a concave bowl or dish shape.