Bermuda Steel Pan Music

Bermuda Steel Pan Music

The local choral traditions which created a distinctive Bermudian music style in 1960’s, is the mixer of Calypso and Steelpan Music. Steelpans (also known as steeldrums, pans, or collectively as a steelband) is a musical instrument. The Steelpan music originated in Trinidad and Tobago. 

It is the only acoustic musical instrument invented in the 20th century and is a pitched percussion instrument, tuned chromatically, and made from a 55 gallon drum, the type that stores oil. It was introduced to Bermuda in 1950s mainly by the Esso Steel Band. Esso became popular for selection of Western classical music for the steelpan. Today the steelpan is fairly popular in Bermuda. Although the sound of the steelpan drum is often associated with Calypso music, it also goes as a popular accompaniment to the Classical, Jazz, Latin, Pop, Reggae and many other musical genres. 

Steelpan music remains very popular to the churches and schools in Bermuda and many other islands in the Caribbean. In 2008, The Bermuda School of Music has established a Steel Pan Orchestra that has been training students from various schools in Bermuda. The orchestra has performed in many community events. Today students from nine different schools come here after the school hours on Wednesdays and Fridays to learn and practice this originally Caribbean instrument and keep the tradition alive in Bermuda. 

Update June 2015: You can now see live Steel Pan Music every Saturday (between June 6 and October 31) at Queen Elizabeth Park in Hamilton starting at 12noon. This will be followed by Gombey Dance performance. Admission is free.