Hot Pans - Stockholm Steelband
© Ulf Kronman, The Pan Page. Publisher: Musikmuseet, Stockholm, Sweden.

18. Standardization


As a proposal for a Trinidad and Tobago standard, a glossary of terms relating to the steel pan was outlined in 1989. The purpose of the glossary is said to be "to standardize and co-ordinate the meaning of terms used in connection with the steel pan." "The need for such a glossary arose from the very prevalent use of synonyms in the steel pan industry, most of which are purely local in origin and application." (Ad Hoc Specification Committee on Steel Pan, 1989.)

A more thorough discussion of the use of terms can be found in appendix E. Appendix E also shows how my use of various terms relates to the proposed standard of Trinidad and Tobago.


The need for a standardisation of pan layouts has increased since steel pan playing was introduced as a regular subject in the schools of Trinidad and Tobago. The standardisation organisation of Trinidad and Tobago conducted a "pan survey" together with Pan Trinbago during 1990. The intention of the survey was to gather data and layouts on the various existing models of pan. As far as I know the data from the survey have not yet been compiled.

The works by Pan Trinbago and the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards are intended to point out the direction for a standardised set of steel pans. But, as the pan still is evolving, special odd models and experimental pans will be seen for a long time in the future. The pan models listed in appendix A may be seen as a sample of the models that have come farthest towards standardisation.