These Webpages are no longer maintained. We are keeping the pages here to preserve some of the early years of ProjectDragonfly, to honor the students who created the interactives in the early days of the Web, and because many of the activities are fun and people are still using them. For current Project Dragonfly work, go


The ProjectDragonflyteam.

Steel Pan Drum

Chick on the picture to hear a steel or pan drum.

The Steel Drum, or Steel Pan, is one of the most recently invented instrument in the world. It originated in the small island countries of Trinidad and Tobego, off the coast of Venesuela. For hundreds of years street gangs used drums to signal fights, so the government slowly outlawed all of the percussion instruments. Eventually, people wanted their music so badly that they began playing on everything from old car parts to garbage cans, somewhere in-between was old steel barrels used to carry oil. These first bands were called Iron Bands. Eventually sometime in the 1930s someone discovered that the dents in the metal that they were playing on caused differences in pitch. From then on people have taken steel barrels and dented them into all the pitches found on a piano. Now days you can play just about all music on a Steel Drum. Steel Drum Bands are becoming more and more popular all over the world, and the Steel Drum itself can be heard with Symphony Orchestras and Rock and Roll Bands. Steel Drums are played with mallets, sort of like drum sticks, but with rubber tips cut from car tires.

Check out the wooden drums.

Learn to Build a Water Drum

Shipwrecked! Natural Symphony Hear the Drums Dragonfly Main

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This document was last modified on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 11:51:30