What is on today's google homepage - Celebrating Steelpan

Google Doodle Celebrates Celebrating Celebrating Steelpan

What is on today's google homepage - Celebrating Steelpan

Today's Doodle honors the steelpan, a percussion instrument constructed of metal that Trinbagonians invented and inspired, as portrayed by Trinidad and Tobago-based artist Nicholas Huggins. Although it was the sole acoustic instrument created in the 20th century, its roots go all the way back to the 1700s. It is still employed in modern music and was a mainstay during Trinidad's yearly harvest festivities, Canboulay and Carnival. The Trinidad All-Steel Pan Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) gave a performance at the Festival of Britain on this date in 1951, popularising the steelpan and a brand-new musical style.

When colonialists brought enslaved Africans to Trinidad in the 1700s, they carried their African history and rhythmic drumming practices with them. When slavery was abolished between 1834 and 1838, Trinidadians celebrated Carnival with their drums. However, in 1877, government officials prohibited their drumming because they worried it would be used to communicate messages inciting revolt. In response to the prohibition, musicians began pounding tuned bamboo tubes on the ground to simulate the sound of their drums. Tamboo Bamboo bands were the name given to these groups.

Another prohibition was imposed in 1930, when competing Tamboo Bamboo bands caused disruptions during Carnival and other street events. These bands then sought a new way to transport their rhythm: metal items like automobile parts, paint pots, dustbins, and biscuit tins, and thus the pan was formed.

Carnival was banned during World War II for security grounds, and artists began experimenting with unusual instruments to increase the sound quality. Dents were hammered into the surface of these artifacts over time, producing varied sounds based on their size, location, and form. After the war, the musicians began utilising 55-gallon oil barrels left by oil refineries in 1948. They discovered that modifying the length of the drum, in addition to changing the form of the drum surface, allows entire scales from bass to soprano. This served as the foundation for the contemporary pan.

Through pioneers and inventors like Winston "Spree" Simon, Ellie Mannette, Anthony Williams, and Bertie Marshall, the steelpan expanded and matured into a respectable instrument. Many of their breakthroughs and strategies are still in use today.

The steelpan is now Trinidad and Tobago's national instrument, and it is a source of immense pride and genuine resilience for its population. Steelpans may now be heard at major halls such as the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, among others. The steelpan is a globally known instrument that reminds listeners of its island beginnings, whether in the United Kingdom, Japan, Senegal, or the United States.

Source - Google Doodle