Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
I wonder where Mr. Anthony Williams of Pan Am would fit in such a discussion as this. How would his contributions be considered, and where would it be placed among the greats who forged progress of this unique instrument?
Winston I agree. Essentially there are five prominent innovators of the steel pan's original invention to whom no one really knows its particular and single inventor. It was invented almost simultaneously by young men at that time in the late thirties early forties. One person did something and then almost the day after another person add something else. I am surprised by the comment coming from Kim Johnson about the great Ellie Manette one of T&T foremost innovators and inventors of the modern pan and is obviously supported by the Universe and God and is still innovating and inventing. The pan invention and innovations have been done by hundreds of men in T&T. However there are five prominent men who gave the modern pan the shape, quality and brilliance in sound and harmonic tones each note come with. Ellie Manette changed the shape from a hilly or mountain top outwardly pregnant shape with notes sunk inwards, to the reverse of that like a cave but with notes bulging outwards. Now that was a significant difference in the original idea. This shape should have been patented but due to ignorance of all of us at that time we did not know anything of Patent laws including the lawyers who were also involved in pan at the time. this shape is still being used for all types of steel pan instruments. Ellie get his royalties for this by the universe and God giving him long life and health and still involved in making pans. Anthony Williams reshaped the notes of pan to resemble a spider's web. Instead of round "o" it went "w" like. Plus Williams got a dream of the Circle of fifths theory in music and applied it to the "tenor" pans. That was highly patentable at the time but was not known by us how to do that at that time. Neville Jules added more notes to the bass and more drums and used the entire oil drum size for the bass sounds of today. Again another highly patentable invention/ Previously the steel pans were cut small and used mostly as one pan per instrument. Double seconds arrived, double guitars arrived, triple cellos arrived, four bass arrived, six bass arrived from all parts of T&T. There were no specific persons who first made these. If they were made by someone in a district, another person was making another one. The concept of adding pans was not original since Neville Jules first did that with the bass pans. So adding pans would not have been patentable if we had patented unique ideas. Then came Bertie Marshall and Rudolph Charles. They both were contemporaries and worked with each other at times and knew each others strengths. Rudolph designed different shapes of bass drums like space rockets which were quite famous at the time. "Two spotniks in the sky had every body hypnotized". He created differently shape canopies from Bertie Marshall ones. His tuning was very mellow and deep, emphasizing the back pans and because of the shapes of some of his pans along with the canopies shape created a deep sound but very soft volume. In order to hear Despers at the time one would have to go right up near the pans and players. It was however very original.. Charles family were bass conscious musicians. His mother could have played the upright bass and his brother Gerald still plays the upright bass.Hence Rudolph's specific influences. Today Despers still have the best sounding back pans and bass pans. Bertie Marshall introduced harmonic tuning. In getting notes to ring three chord notes very subtly and octave notes at the same time. His notes created for the first time a definite ring like a mouth organ. He emulated his mouth organ ring and its natural harmonic chord playing. His engineering electronic training led him to his amplifications and other inventions as stated above. So according to these five innovators and their natural knowledge they had acquired at the time, they were led to innovate and invent new unique ideas for the steelpans which cannot really be removed even today from pan. This doesn't mean others didn't do likewise, but these men stuck with their convictions the most and are therefore credited eternally with these innovations.
There are undoubtedly many innovations to the steelpan done by many men across the globe. The real question to be asked is how many of these innovations have stocked with the steel pan today. if someone makes any type of steelpan, would these innovations be deemed absolutely necessary? That is how it should be considered. Not who made what pan or added more pans. that has been archived by hundreds of pan inventors in the past. There is no particular person who placed notes or made steel pans by adding more pans after these five innovators. They were the first to do that kind of innovation.
The question should be "how many men made the single second pan". How many men made the single first pan. How many men made the single guitar pan. how many men made the single cello pan now called the tenor bass. How many men made the single bass pan. The answer is many many men made these almost together at the same time across T&T. That is the original invention and how it came about. But starting from these five prominent innovators, their works cannot be left out of the modern pan development including the ideas of electronics. To this we must give special thanks to these five innovators. Persons coming after with something, cannot drop these innovations but can simply add to them. Lets ask more intelligent questions now on pan.
Riff Jammz, Since it seems that you are one of the Intelligent members on this Forum and some of us are Dumb, it would be nice of you to open an Intelligent question as "how many men made the single second pan".or would you like me to open that Discussion for you?.
in Kim Johnsons reply from The Guardian 1952, IT CLEARLY STATES QUOTE,, The average second pan has about 12 notes. This 23-note pan is considered one of the most important improvements in steel music since TASPO’s tenor and bass booms.UNQUOTE. That means there were 12 note second (double pans) before this. How could you ascribe the INVENTION to DIXILANDERS??? You did ask INVENTION right???paddy corea
paddy corea, good point, now we have to ask who invented the 12 note second and was it a double second?
It was Ernest Ferreira and the tuner was Percy Thomas.Sadly he passed away in London about 16 years ago.
Correction. The arrangement of Valderie Valdera played by Silvertones from Belmont was by Junior Pouchette and brough to Silvertones by a few ex members of Silverstars.
This is a comment about this Discussion by Leslie Michael Jordan opened into another Thread , BEDE, I love this, so let me shed some light on the issue, Anthony Williams invented the first double second in 1950, one year after he invented the 4ths & 5ths notes assesment order or the "spider web" tenor pan, the double second derived from the 4ths & 5ths design, before he was selected for TASPO, with the same notes assesment order that is present today, Williams brought it into the TASPO ensemble where he represented North Stars, Williams invented / designed the first double pan period, Ellie Mannette forged / copied Williams work implementing Plagiarism, with Ellie Mannette looking back at Williams instrument, Williams right side clock wise is E Bb F# D G# C, which will appear as the left side for Ellie Mannette and, Williams left side clock wise C# G B Eb A F will appear as Ellie Mannette right side, there's a TASPO photo disclosing Ellie Mannette sitting in front of Williams, with Dudley Smith playing the other double pan, the tenor pong Lt Griffith called it, or double cello also made by Williams for Dudley where Lt Grifftih summond Williams to make said instrument for Dudley, and a set bass for Philmore "boots" Davidson out of the 55 gal drum, the first single second pan was made by Carlron "sonny/sire" Roach in 1946, on instructions from "bajan" Cecil Ward, and they called it the strummer, Roach also invented the "tune boom circa the same time, the double tenor was invented by Percy "lizard " Thomas of Katsenjammers 1955 of Colville Street Woodbrook, on instructions from Evris Barquin, where they won the 1956 Music Festival with "Jose Padilla's, The Breeze and I", and Neville Jules the "Cuatro pan" the for runner to the modern day "guitar pan", the 4ths & 5ths, D seconds, triple cellos, Quadros, high midrange, and low basses, Pan on stand, pan on wheels 1,2,3,4,5,6 bass set Williams, the "Echo Phone or triple tenor, and 7 set bass Herman" rock" Johnston, the Bert-phone Bertie Marshall,the Quad Duet Ellie Mannette, the 9 and 12 bass set Rudolph Charles, the first to tune a 55 gal drum was, the Late Kelvin Morris of # 5 Nepaul Street St James, and Williams in November of 1945, then Carlton "sonny" Roach in 1946, Williams derived his instruments to broaden the range/scope of said instruments to accommadate any an all musical pieces, anything that is warranted, feel free to ask me, CHOW $ NOW
The answer no one knows for sure. So it is an ignorant question to be asking at this point. No one wrote down their inventions and did not patent them and it all happened very fast. Actually we have to thank God for the "No Patents" era. This fact helped to spread the inventions across T&T and the Caribbean, plus as someone had said The Americans on the Navel Base Chaguaramus could have also stolen the ideas and go back to America and patent it. But God was protecting the pan. So its good that no one really knows for sure. As soon as someone say Tom, another says Harry, then another say Johnny. And so it goes up to today. And that is best for pan. Suffice it to say that steelpan has spread across the globe by many persons from T&T, Caribbean and elsewhere. Everyone knows that it originated in T&T. The G-pan holds Patents for its high tech measurements, calculations, steel thickness, and so many other modern approaches and standardization it offers. Yet it does not sell any where. Its too heavy and cumbersome. So the pans that should have been Patented sold and continue to sell over the world. Whereas the Patented ones fail. What the universe is saying is that the creative ideas which five men imputed that truly made the pan a professional musical instruments is really the finished product of the steel pan. nothing much can be added to it. The only way it has to go now is electronic and be able to be as loud as other electronic instruments which went through almost the same evolutions. We must not spend too much time on who made this first and who made this and that. No one has the answers to those questions. Absolutely no one. we cannot convince the rest of the world that someone made the pans. many people made them and experimented with them. Five persons experimented with them and came up with experiments which cannot now be put down. They have to be continued including the electronics that Bertie Marshall first thought about and came out with amplified pans and made sure he made it known. Dedication therefore ends in good credit. Not someone started something and then discontinued it. The persons who did not get the full credit discontinued their dedication and so no one fully recognized them. All the five innovators continued in pan and were still interested in its development. Rudolf Charles died while trying and so did Bertie Marshall. Tony Williams is still interested in its development. Neville Jules the same. Ellie Manette the same. Its only we who separate these men. Otherwise they acknowledge each others input. And their input still reigns supreme. So who made the second pans of today. those five did it by their commitment. who made the rest of the pans we play and hear now. Those five did it by their commitment. They are the inventors of the modern steelpan from tenors to bass and in between. They are credited for their actual commitment and dedication. They did not give up on it at any time. That is how it should be understood. Why single second? Why double second. There can be six pans ranging from soprano to the real tenor range in music which one man can play. Who made such a pan?
Riff Jammz, You sound like a fella that used to be on the Forum all the time by the name of SIDD, I can tell by your long Comments and speaking about Electronics, Are you back in Disguised? If its you that's hiding, Welcome Back.
Sidd I know him too.