The Caribbean region has a rich and complex musical history and tradition. This area has spawned a wide diversity of musical genres such as Reggae, Reggaeton and Dancehall music. It’s also the home of musical legends such as Bob Marley who is famous throughout the world.
Something else which is famous throughout the world are Steel Pan drums. These drums are a musical instrument which were invented in the Caribbean. Their sound is difficult to put into words, but it’s distinctive and mellifluous tone is unmistakable and forms the backdrop of dozens of Reggae tracks and other Caribbean music.
But where did these drums come from? According to sources they first originated from Trinidad and Tobago, during a period where percussion instruments were banned in response to riots after the government banned Carnival. The islanders would use bamboo sticks instead, which were then also banned.
In response to this the locals then shifted to using frying pans, dustbin lids and even oil drums. From there steel pan drums continued to evolve and become more sophisticated. Initially drumsticks were made from bamboo but later this changed to sticks tipped with rubber, and it’s these rubber tips which give the steel pan its distinctive sound. These drums became famous when the United States Navy arrived in Trinidad and spread word of this new type of music. Over the years steel pan drums have continued to evolve and today this music is enjoyed in many countries.