This book describes a truly remarkable musical instrument „o the Steelpan (Pan) „o a melodic percussion instrument that produces tones of immense beauty. This instrument is the National Instrument of the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The concepts, the ideas, the theories, the physics and the mathematics contained in this book are the answers to the question the author asked himself as a little boy peering over the face of a ping pong steelpan, ¡¥how does it work?¡¦ Revealed, are the subtleties and secrets of the instrument¡¦s operation, its laws, its construction and details of its tuning. Contained herein is the information sought by pan musicians, pan makers, panists, pan researchers and ¡¥pan lovers¡¦ „o nothing is left out. The rigor of the analytical methods of this book matches, in depth and intensity, the expert craftsmanship of the Master Pan Maker and Tuner. There is a unifying force within this book that combines the stick-note impacts to the panist¡¦s creativity in his production of musical tones. This book doesn¡¦t dodge the difficult questions; it ends with a chapter on the exotic non-musical features of the steelpan.
Anthony Achong is former Senior Lecturer and retired Head of the Department of Physics at The University of the West Indies, Trinidad. He has published in ten different areas of Physics and Mathematics and produced extensive original research material on the Steelpan, including the Non-linear nature of its operation „o from the secrets of its tonality to the Jump Phenomenon and Chaos „o all displayed by this wonderful musical instrument. He edited the proceedings for the First International Conference on the Science and Technology of the Steelpan (ICSTS 2000). He is an Advisor to the Steelpan Tuners Guild of Trinidad and Tobago and has lectured extensively to Pan Makers and Tuners in his homeland, Trinidad and Tobago. He currently lives in Florida.