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Prof Copeland did not invent PHI
By SEAN DOUGLAS Thursday, July 14 2011

THE idea of an electronic steel-pan was developed in 1994, said pan pioneer Garnet Broadbelt, who yesterday told Newsday he worked on such a project at York University, Toronto, Canada. He also rejected the notion that it was Prof Brian Copeland who pioneered this type of pan.

He spoke to Newsday days after Attorney-General Anand Ramlogan issued a pre-action protocol letter that asks engineer Prof Brian Copeland to concede the Government owns the rights to the Percussive Harmonic Instrument (PHI) which are presently being made and sold by Copeland’s firm, Panadigm Innovations Limited, of which former San Fernando West MP Junia Regrello is also a director.

Broadbelt said he had submitted a proposal for an electronic pan to Pan Trinbago in 1995, long before the PHI was launched in 2003.

Broadbelt is a past pupil of St Mary’s College, a former teacher at Belmont RC Primary School, a former policeman in TT and in Canada, a former columnist with the Toronto Star newspaper, and the father of a former Miss Black Canada. He did a combined degree, Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA), in Music and Anthropology, from 1989 to 1994, also serving as a paid assistant to the former head of the Music Department of York University, the late Prof . Steven Otto.

Broadbelt explained why an electronic pan was a good idea, saying it overcomes the normal steel-pan’s problems of being heavy, noisy and contains harmful chemicals, plus it needs to be tuned. He said his son had once suggested that an electronic pan was ideal for schools where pupils could practice quietly.

Broadbelt said a York University study had concluded that an electronic steel-pan could earn millions of dollars in sales. He said he had written a computer programme for the electronic pan, which he said could be played at alto, soprano or bass levels. Such a pan could be programmed with samples of tones from TT’s top tuners, whom he said, stood to earn huge royalties for their samples, which would exceed their income from tuning acoustic pans.

He said York University had declined to get involved with funding the production of electronic pans because the appropriation of a project from a developing country would be frowned upon in academic circles.

Broadbelt said he had returned to TT where he had impressed the then acting director of culture (Merle Albino De Couteau). He then presented the idea to Pan Trinbago. He said he had got a good response when this body was led by Owen Serrette, but said later on Serrette’s successor, Patrick Arnold, had favoured the acoustic over the electronic pan.

Broadbelt said Regrello had been present when he presented his idea for an electronic pan to the Pan Trinbago national executive. Rejecting any idea that Copeland had invented the electronic pan, Broadbelt said he himself has the right to be heard.

He said that in 1995, the Ministry of Culture had sent the matter to top attorneys, JD Sellier and Company, which had said the concept could be patented. Hailing Ramlogan’s recent move, he said, “The Attorney-General has opened the door to what we’ve been seeking”. He said the truth would come out.

Broadbelt said he had once made an agreement with an industrial lawyer (Sterling Belgrove) to seek out a firm in the Far East to come to TT to make electronic pans, but nothing had come of it.

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Garnet Broadbelt what a BOMB.........STAY TUNED.......
Ole people say what is done in the dark will soon come to light.
I do hope that my views or opinion which is factual and the truth doesn,t contradict or cause any ill feeling to the patented owner of the ,,,E Pan ,,firstly is that i have listened to the   E Pan  here on my laptop and as a panman i find very good,,But! there is one thing that is of great importance to the people of T & T , which is the history of the Original steelpan and it,s reason for existance,,to be frank there is nothing to replace something that is original, i,m  originally from a country similiar as trinidad and tobago which is guyana,and i have learnt to make the steelpan the hard way with the blessing of god our father,a gift that will remain with me to my grave,,reference to the E  Pan it,s a good investment and can be used by many the world over, then again i belive that there will be others also that would prefer the old time pan steelpan which is now in nickle form.In closing i would like to congratulate Garnet Broadbelt for his extra ordinary work towards finding another alternative for the steelpan.
Correct me if i'm wrong, but I remember an electronic Steelpan was entered into the Witco, Rudulph Charles Steelpan Innovation Awards in 1988 by Keith Maynard.

You are correct, but Salmon Cupid's invention pre-dates all prior art.


hold on hold on Salmon Cupid;s invention is not a electronic Pan

It is a Keyboard Synt disguised as a Steelpan Anybody can do that

just take a free Roland or Yahamar synt from the internet make a  widgit

shape like a steel pan run all the leeds to the notes and play with your fingers

that;s it

An  Electronic Pan you must sample the notes of a real pan,then filter and lear.

Then write a computer program (codes) to play the notes.. the easy part is the

program is a TEXT FILE. anybody with a little programing know how can do it.


@ aldwyn jones, if what you are saying was correct the United States Patent and Trademark office would not have issued me patents. In fact, on the contrary, my electronic steelpan patent is so different from what you explained that they issued a utility patent. Alden, clearly you used basic logic before making this post. My advice to you is to collect some imperial data, Analyze it, then come up with your conclusion. For your information the E-Pan comes with 5 different Steelpan tones which covers the full spectrum (from tenor to bass) and each note was sampled several times to capture ... In layman's terms .... The loud and soft tones.
Have you ever seen or play an E-Pan ? .... It's more like a work station my friend. What you described above is more or less close to a controller that's what Brian and his people came up with after steeling people idea (phi). I have been telling everyone this got years now, people are now opening there eyes ... Better late than never.
Chat soon
The FAT lady has yet to sing, but meantime, who was first-to-file and first-at-bat, well let's see...

USPTO Utility Patent No. 7030305 - Salmon Cupid

TTIPO (WIPO-signatory) domain under PCT protocols. Patent Application No. TT/A/2006/00044 - Salmon Cupid

When was the PHIpan patent cited, before or after?
Another chapter now that the can of worms is open... http://whensteeltalks.ning.com/forum/topics/s-n-s-e-st-james-north-...


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