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The Development of Steel Drums

Nov 9, 2007
The world of music, songs and artists is graced by beats of drums, whose lilting tunes can enliven drooping spirits and rejuvenate frayed nerves. Complimenting the vocal music culture has emerged the instrumental music. Steel drums form an integral part of the instrumental music genre, which has successfully carved a niche for itself.

The soul pondering instrumental music has win hearts and has proved to be a pleasant gift for one and all. The history of steel drums is long and interesting. It was invented in the land of Trinidad around the time of Second World War.

The steel drums were invented to bridge the gap between the upper and poor classes. As upper class banned the lower class instruments, the lower class would simply replace it with another new instrument.

Earlier the instruments were devised by cutting varying lengths of bamboos. A by product of cultural gaps between the rich and the poor, steel drums have emerged with the musical quality of both the classes.

The early 1930s saw a great evolution in the history of steel drums with metal beating drums. The first pitched metal drum was made out of small metal containers, which were convex in shape. But with time it evolved to a great extent and now it is constructed from a 55 gallon barrel. Steel drums are a recently re-invented addition to the world of musical instruments.

Steel pan music reached new heights in the 19th century when a steel band got the opportunity to perform in common wealth celebrations. This gave steel drummers a new international exposure and gradually it became an established art form, revered by music lovers across the world. Steel drummers are adapting themselves in a varied number of ways to suit different tastes.

Instrumental music can broadly be categorized into the following types

Vocal supported instrumental music
Western instrumental music
Oriental classical music

Instrumental music has been very popular from ancient times. The different traditions of instrumental music have been as followed

Andalusian classical music
Arab classical music
Gagaku, Gamelan
Classical Korean

The world of music is full of fun and thrills. So, be ready to sway every heart and soul with the lilting tunes of steel drums that are definitely going to jazz up the musical world.

With steel drums you can churn out almost everything ranging from buoyant pop tunes to hip hop music. Steel drums can churn out almost every type of music old, straight, alternative, orthodox as well as modern.

Characteristics of steel drums

Steel drums generally have a very high tempo.
It follows repetitious beats.
Steel drums are a product of western cultural scenario.
It produces high decibel sound.
It provides greater versatility to drummers.
It is capable of producing chromatic range of notes and tones.

Steel drum beats can actually transport you to a new different world of music and acts as a rebellion against established social norms. It can cast a hypnotic spell on its listeners.

Steel drummers have now sprung up in endless number of countries from Japan to Sweden. In fact, many national organizations have also started accepting steel drums as the accepted notion worldwide.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, and synthesizers. You can find the best marketplace for guitars, drums, and synthesizers at these 3 sites: guitars, bass guitar gears , drums, steel drum , and synthesizers, keyboards.
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