Trinidad is the birthplace of calypso and here, too, the steelpan has its origin.

Toward the end of the last world war, the Trinidadians discovered that the empty oil drums left behind by the american forces could be transformed into musical instruments. A crude musical drum, or "pan", was first played around 1945.

Since then it has undergone refinement and has become quite sophisticated. To tune a steelpan is a complicated business entailing heating and cooling and hours of pounding. The whole process can take anywhere from days to weeks.

Today, some leading steelbands (sometime of up to fifty steelpan players!) will bravely tackle the classics in the classical steelband festival of Trinidad and Tobago.

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