National Instrument

The National Instrument of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the steelpan, is a musical instrument indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago whose early evolution dates back to the 1930's and 40's. Traditionally made from a steel drum or container, it is a definite percussion instrument in the idiophone class. The playing surface is divided into convex sections by channels, grooves and/or bores and each convex section is a note tuned to a definite pitch. The range and assortment of today's instruments makes it possible to execute the simplest of melodies to the most complex arrangements found in orchestration.