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Caribbean Steel Rhythms

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Trinidad & Tobago Flag

Drumming has always played a very important role in the celebration of Carnival, and roots of the steel drums can be traced back to these Carnival celebrations on the Caribbean Islands of Trinidad and Tobago.

Over the years the steel drum has evolved from the one note pans of the Bamboo Tamboo bands to the two and a half octave pans that we have today. The steel pan’s hauntingly beautiful sound, ranging from very high to deep and tranquilizing penetrates hearts all over the world. it is now known as the "piano forte" of musical instruments.
A ban on skin drums in the 1880’s led the islanders to find other ways to express themselves. It was discovered that dried bamboo of different lengths and diameters would produce different sounds and Tamboo Bamboo bands formed.   For many years these bands were the music of the natives.  Then, in the 1930’s banging on metal containers was added as part of these bands and thus began the steel drum. 
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