Steel Pan Tuning – a Handbook for Steel Pan Making and Tuning by Ulf Kronman

The first comprehensive documentation of the steel pan instrument. Complete with building instructions, layouts, measures, templates and specification of tools. Also includes sections on current development trends and theory, explaining how the steel pan works. The one and only book of its kind.

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Steel Drums – How to play them and make them by Peter Seeger

An instruction manual based on the steel drums of Kim Loy Wong.

Secrets of the Steelpan by Anthony Achong

Unlocking the secrets of the science, technology, tuning and operation of the steelpan.

Untersuchungen zur Klangerzeugung und Klangwahrnehmung der karibischen Steeldrum by Michael Steppat

Akustische Untersuchungen der Steeldrum – Bestimmung von Klangeigenschaften – Physikalische Modellierung des Klangs mit Computermethoden – Hörversuche zur Bestimmung klanglicher Qualitätsparameter. Aus der Serie Europäische Hochschulschriften.​

Metallurgical and acoustical comparisons for a brass pan with a Caribbean steel pan standard

Journal of Materials Science, July 2004, Volume 39, Issue 13, pp4139-4155. Authors: L. E. Murr, E. V. Esquivel, A. A. Bujanda, N. E. Martinez, K. F. Soto, A. S. Tapia, S. Lair, A. C. Somasekharan, C. A. C. Imbert, R. Kerns, S. Irvine, S. Lawrie

The development and fabrication of α-brass pans, including the sinking of the pan head in the traditional manner using a hammer and patterning musical notes and their turning is compared with a low-carbon steel (Caribbean-type) pan as a standard. In this study these experimental pans are fabricated by welding the α-brass or low-carbon steel platforms to a low-carbon steel hoop and side metal or skirt. These pans are 2.54 cm larger in diameter than pans traditionally fabricated from 55-gallon barrels. The corresponding pan head materials are examined by optical and electron microscopy and hardness profiles are measured as well. Deformation is shown to influence the acoustic response of ideal, flat, circular discs of both the α-brass and low-carbon steel as well as 316L stainless steel. The frequency-amplitude-time spectra for common octave ranges are compared and chromatic tones are shown for the α-brass as well as the low-carbon steel standard. These results indicate that a wide range of hard metals or alloys can be used to produce musical pan instruments.

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E.C.S. develops the Integrated Layout for Steelpans

Almost nothing has changed in the layouts and the naming of all the different steelpans since their 1st appearance in the 1940’s in Trinidad and Tobago. With this publication, Eckhard C. Schulz would like to re-new and reform this entire area.

In the last 10 years, he has, with numerous tuners, bandleaders, etc., taken part in many seminars all over the world.

The theme of these symposiums was: “The Standardization of the Steelpan”.

This means: All tuners should use the same layout for all the different instruments. Apart from the fact that up until today, there have been no concrete results from these symposiums, Schulz personally finds that the setting of this goal never goes far enough.

His “strived-for” ideal was and is always: All Steelpans should be able to be played by all band members in the shortest time span possible.

This will be possible in the future with the INTEGRATED LAYOUT of E.C.S.-Steelpans

An extremely important aspect in calling this plan into action is: Eckhard C. Schulz sees very clearly that the development of the steelpan in Europe and probably all over the world can advance only if we can add well-educated musicians to our ranks. With the confusion of the many individual layouts that exist today, this is almost impossible.

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Geometric note layouts for steelpans and other polyhedral idiophones

Representing the note layout as a layer of circles densely packed with triangular interstices, with the area of each circle directly proportional to its pitch frequency.

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