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Andrew Morrison’s interest in the Physics of the Steelpan Instrument

Andrew Morrison’s interest in the Physics of the Steelpan Instrument
Tuning a tenor pan instrument

Global - The 161st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America takes place in Seattle, Washington at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel later this month, May 23-27, 2011.  And why is this of interest, one may ask? Well, two of the invited presentations/papers focus on the Steelpan instrument.

In a May 25 session devoted to: Musical Acoustics: Materials in Musical Instruments chaired by Uwe J. Hansen, of Indiana State University, Department of Physics - an Invited Paper titled “Material properties of steel in the steelpan” is the subject of interest. This paper comes from Andrew C. Morrison, currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at DePaul University, Department of Physics in Chicago. From 2000–2005 NIU (Northern Illinois University) was ‘home’ to Morrison where he was a Teaching Assistant.
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You heard it before "PAN is Science Too!
Pan is Science Too.
To continue the Educational aspect of Pan as an instrument accross the world, leadership is required to guide students of Steelpan, beyond the Entertainment factor and into the technology of creating and manufacturing the Instrument. Together we must secure the economical and Industrial development along with investments in the Research, Development, Science and Technology of the Steel Pan, in every area including:
the art and science of extracting metals from their ores and other metal-bearing products and adapting these for human utilization. (Metal texture for steelpan manufacture)
the study of the structure and constitution of solid metals and their alloys and the relations of these properities. {Monitoring Metallic Tonal Structure and Quality}
For the Construction of SteelPans
the study of subjecting metal to pressure exerted by rolls, presses, or being hammered, to change its form, or to affect the structure and therefore the mechanical and physical properities.
science of the properties, the inter-relations of matter and energy. (The Heat process for the Steel Drum instrument tuning.
the science of space and numbers in the abstract as applied to the physical lay-out of the different voices of instruments.

I agree fully.  Few peope know that Ellie Mannette's programme in West Virginia was not part of the Music Dept., but in the Metallurgy Dept., where they investigated the effect of different additives in the steel alloy on pan tone, sinkability, etc.



 Here are some reasons why we need to have scholarships for our Students of Pan!

Congrats to Dr Andrew Morrison ... this is "doing something for pan".






Next step, patent the original, classical, traditional steelpan!!!

Very interesting Mr Morrison,please share your findings with the world..
All pan tuning students should read this- especially those in the Mecca of the steelpan. Pan tuning is a n Art and a Science and a deeper understanding of the Science would stimulate our creativity because it is our indigenous invention. The choice and the challenge is ours to take it to even higher heights!
All of the unique steelpan tones from the Master Tuners need to be sampled/recorded for future posterity and markers of the art form, moving forward...

Mr. Dellevi:

That's already been done and exploited commercially -- ever heard of a MIDI keyboard with pan waveforms?  Yamaha, for example, sampled pan notes and included it in their MO-6 keyboard.


Peter Gray


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