Geographic Region: Caribbean
Country of origin: Trinidad and Tobago
Climatic type: Tropical
Time period: 20th century to present.
SvH No.: 111.2
Is an Ensemble?: No
Related Instruments: Steel Band,Steel Pan (tenor),Steel Pan (guitars),Steel Pan (Cello),Steel Pan (bass),Steel Pan (Double Tenor),Steel Pan (Double Seconds)
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Author: Amelia K. Ingram
This instrument consists of four pans arranged in pairs, with two in a typical horizontal arrangement and two suspended vertically in front. The lowest notes found along the circumference of the bowl are U-shaped, while the higher octave notes are either oval or circular-shaped inside. Their "skirt" or side length is approx. 12-16 cm and they are played with moderately thick rubber mallets.
The quadrophonics pan has a larger range than most instruments in the family, with 36 notes between B2 and Bb5 (Blake, 119). The arrangement of notes is loosely similar to that of the double seconds, with the notes split between upper and lower drums.
The quadrophonics (or sometimes called "quads") was invented by Rudolph Charles to cover the entire upper range of the ensemble (Blake, 119). According to another scholar, tuner Neville Jules developed a "quatro" pan in the late 1940s, however, one might theorize that his was an early version of the four-cello (Steumpfle, 43). Nevertheless, both theories point to the influence of the cuatro guitar, a four-stringed instrument used in local Venezuelan-influenced parang music. The quadrophonics have the most versatile function in the steel band, from melodic and harmonic support to countermelody, and thus require the more skilled players.
See Steel Band.
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