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Have you every faced backlash from other music teachers telling you or students that the steel pan is not a real instrument. How did you deal with it?

This thread was initiated in the Steel Band Directors group on facebook.

"Have you every faced backlash from other music teachers telling you or students that the steel pan is not a real instrument. How did you deal with it?"

While there were numerous responses from group members (presumably steelband music educators) only one person directly addressed what was at heart of this matter.

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... and may I ask: What was at the heart of this matter?

Claude:

There is no technical, historical or intellectual reason why one would consider the steelpan to not be a musical instrument. 

This is best answered by the response from the outstanding musician, panist and educator Khuent Rose.

Khuent Rose -- "It's important to detail to them that that thinking is rooted in racism.

The association with the music and instrumentation of the Caribbean as a 'novelty' is deeply tied to the notion that "validation = euro-westernization".


consider in context that this is never an argument for a Recorder or Snare drum player."

I read a passage from LIAM TEAGUE concerning acceptance of his instrument when he went to play with SYMPHONIES in EUROPE. In his case he was talking about the MUSICIANS in the SYMPHONIES doubting the instrument.

But this is quite an intriguing topic. I would be thrilled to see 100 of the 20,000 WST MEMBERS come to the defense of THE INSTRUMENT.

Most scientists, without ever seeing a steelpan, would tell you that it is an impossible musical instrument. Multiple true tones with harmonics and overtones from a single concentric surface? Surely witchcraft was was involved. Or maybe it is just plain genius.

THE INSTRUMENT has already PROVEN ITSELF and continues to EXPAND GLOBALLY! We are now ready and PRIMED for the NEXT PHASE!!!

The NEXT PHASE is COMMERCIAL GLOBAL STEELDRUM MUSIC (which will have to include SYNTHESIZED PAN MUSIC) and PROPER ADMINISTRATION down in TRINIDAD & TOBAGO!!!

TWO TALL MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB!!! But not as TALL as getting it OFF THE GROUND (Thanks to PIONEERS like CURTIS PIERRE)!!!

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