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Steelband as an instrument; in T&T, do we respect it as our national instrument?

The world respects it. In T&T, we only pay lipservice to its possibilities. What say you???

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There is a yes and no answer to this one.

I am not a native trini but have spent a lot of time there.
Pan is heard on the radio, TV, on adverts, it flew the flag on bwia planes.
there are panyards all over the country, the panorama is televised live and well represented, man there is a million dollar purse for the finals. when people talk about trinidad, pan is one of the first things on their lips..
Pan is strangely not taught in every school, it still has a badjohn image, it doesn't seem to be a way of life as it was 15 years or so ago, and there is also the fact that half the population listen to chutney and tassa while the other half should listen calypso and pan, BUT DO THEY?
Trinidadians should be proud of what they gave the world. england gave the world football and Cricket and we are not any good at them anymore. be thankful that you still the best
I wouldn't go as far as to say the "world" respects it because I've seen the same disrespect for pan here in the states as well.

It really bothers me when I see a band preparing for an engagement by cramming bass pans, guitars and cellos into a rental truck with no regard. Ideally, each pan should have it's own case but not everyone is willing to foot the cost to buy cases...so I expect they will use furniture covers, which cost an extra 12 bucks when you rent a truck, but no. Some bands leave their pans out in the rain without even making an attempt to cover them, of course the instruments begin to rust after a while...even their stage side bands show signs of disrespect for the instrument, when they don't take the time out to polish the pans before an engagement. Then there's the band leaders who refuse to teach players how to play the instrument properly, it's so sad when I see young and old alike 'beating' a pan like it did something worthy of death...that's the ultimate form of disrespect.
True GospelPan, so true.....
The respect must start from within and with the young.
Bugs, I agree with you 100%.

However, if we are teaching the youths to beat pans as well as other wrong principles, the same thing will continue.

I just came back home from a middle school, my daughter had to take an exam there; while we waited in a large auditorium they played a video, which showcased a steel band. While I was pleased with the band and it's performance, I noticed that none of the chromed pans were polished...why can't we take five minutes to polish pans before a live performance? It really bothers me, and I see the same thing with 90% of the steel bands out there; it only cost a few dollars to buy chrome polish...I don't get it?

Leaders have to change their mindset in regards to pan and try to think like a professional musician, who's instrument receives almost as much TLC as their significant other!

If we continue to think of pan as nothing more than a steel drum and not an instrument, it will not gain respect. I truly believe that most leaders don't realize what they're doing, so there's hope...but until then, expect more of the same.
hey GP
i have never thought of it like that.
i am not so sure that polished and shiny mean respect, but your point does make sense from a spiritual and mental view point. i think i have always been in your 90% category (you should see the state of my car).....
i feel i am going to break out the polish now...
interesting discussion...
food for thought, does the pig make the sty or does the sty make the pig???????
yeah man, I think perception is of extreme importance where pan is concerned, especially since the first impression is usually the one that sticks.

Imagine transporting pans into functions like weddings, churches, restaurants, etc.

When your pans are dirty, have rust on them, are not polished, etc., people look at you like "where you going with that?" But when your pans are clean, polished and look professional, people look at you with interest and respect, instead of disgust or disdain.

I mean, if you think about it...if we don't show enough care and respect for our own instrument, to take a piece of cloth and polish it, why should someone else respect it? Now, I'm not saying that presentation alone will give respect, but it is part of the problem...we need to respect our instrument by taking proper care of it; then I think people will begin to see it as a legitimate instrument instead of someone's plaything.
I don't think you can divorce the issues of pan from the social problems of TnT.
I agree with all the responses to date.

However, pan is an integral part of the society of T&T yet it is put on a backburner until another carnival rolls around and issues relating to same suddenly become apparent.
There are so many opportunities that can come from "pan" - musical, entertainment, manufacturing, tourism, educational, industry, leadership, travel, etc. - but we in T&T seem not to know how to nor are interested in grasping them. Howcome???

Pan is our gift to the world. Maybe we are simply good givers.
hey john
you make great and very heartfelt points.
Trinidad is a built up country, very forward thinking, and may not need what pan has to offer anymore.
oil drums may be needed for exporting oil more than making pans..
Nice one, pan cafe. Didn't think of it that way. Ironically,because of the low demand for oil even at the new low prices, we now have more oil drums available for musical instruments.

But thanks. You have highlighted my original point about possibilities re pan. Part of the offshoot of the"pan" industry is the opportunity to make the instrument and not depend on oil drums to be made into instrunemts.

pan cafe, the world cannot survive without music; now that "pan" is here, it should not be allowed to survive without it.

There are so many possibilities.
There are people in TnT who hate pan with a vengeance - when I stayed the in 2007 my landlady couldn't believe that I (a nice white middle class Englishwoman) had come to play pan - let alone with such a bunch of muggers, murderers and rapists as Starlift(!!!!)


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