The steel drum is a percussion musical instrument. It was invented in Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean island nation.
Before gaining independence in the middle of the XNUMXth century, the country was a colony of Spain and then Great Britain. Colonists with their slaves arrived on the islands at the end of the XNUMXth century.
In 1880, African music using membrane and bamboo instruments was banned in Trinidad. At the beginning of the 30th century, the African population began to use steel barrels as a material for drums. The invention began to be actively used in the XNUMXs.
The size of the idiophone differs depending on the model. The sound depends on the size of the oval part. The larger the oval, the lower the sound of the notes. The body is made of metal plates. Thickness – 0,8 – 1,5 mm. Initially, the composition of the instrument included only one “pan”. Later musicians began to use several chromatically tuned pans.
The repertoire of musicians playing the steel drum is varied. The idiophone is used in the Afro-Caribbean musical style of calypso. The style is characterized by folklore lyrics and African folk instruments. Since the middle of the XNUMXth century, the idiophone has been played in jazz and fusion groups. In the birthplace of the invention, there is a military band using an Afro-Caribbean idiophone. The hit single “Close” by American singer Nick Jonas was recorded using a steel drum.