Steelband Panorama 2011

For more on Steelpan In TnT click here

When Steel Talks... Everybody Listens!!
Get your WST Tee shirt now!   Click for details

Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2011 - HOME

2011 panorama tunes lead sheets
click to view lead sheets for selected tunes provided by composers

Visit When Steel Talks

recommend your favorite tune for panorama 2011

The Pan Tune is an Anomaly

A When Steel Talks Steelband Panorama Competition Special - by: Daryl Joseph, MA

Panorama 2011Global - Panist and psychologist Daryl Joseph shares his thoughts with the global steelpan music community on the debate of “what is a pan tune?”

I have always maintained that the ‘pan tune’ is an anomaly caused by an unfortunate and untimely combination of circumstances that gave birth to this pseudo-genre of local music.

Recall that around the late 90s, a few things happened simultaneously:

  1. Pan arrangers were rewarded by the judges for discarding a more ‘people friendly’ approach to arranging in favour of a more musically complex approach
  2. The result of point 1, above, is that less crowd-pleasing, but more musically ‘sophisticated’ arrangements, calling for more complicated melodies, gave rise to the increase of ‘own tunes’ by arrangers
  3. Soca music took a more rhythmic and less melodic turn, best expressed by Sprangalang in the calypso circa 1999 ‘Two chord’
  4. Unless an arranger composed their own melody, there was little left in the soca/kaiso music of the time for panorama, so Pan Trinbago initiated the ‘Pan Tune’ competition, nobly intending to encourage composers to write more music for bands to play at panorama - this opened Pandora’s box
  5. Note that crowd participation in Panorama naturally waned, as evidenced by dramatically reduced attendance (except for the ‘semis’ which will have large attendance whether steelbands show up or not - sad), lack of non-partisan interest, and a subsequent reduction in the competition itself (elimination of zonal finals, carnival Thursday semi-final, etc.)
  6. Every Tom, Dick, and Harrilalal began stringing together hasty melodies, including sometimes questionable lyrics about ‘pan’, and entering the pan tune contest for the $$
  7. Fast forward to the present: even though the ‘pan tune’ contest is no more, some composers have gotten into composing music they hope bands will play; so they do so, and the tunes are unfortunately called ‘pan songs’.

Thank God, Benjai’s music this year represents the beginning of a swing back to melody as the base of carnival music - instead of just rhythm. Long before this whole pan tune anomaly began, we had “Smooth” [Leon Edwards] doing fantastic and lasting arrangements of songs like ‘Rebecca’, ‘Doh Back Back’, ‘Suck Meh, Soucouyant’, and ‘Curry Tabanca’ and Bradley doing ‘Sailing’ and ‘She want me to Sing In She Party’ and “Boogsie” with ‘Nani Wine’ - most of which were crowd pleasers, but shunned by the judges (who influence the direction of panorama music) - so it is more or less true that Pan can ‘play anything’.

It will be interesting, especially since the last 2 panorama winners were heavy crowd favourites, how the judging will go this year, and whether we will see more soca music in panorama in years to come - or whether it will continue to be an arranger’s competition. I for one, hope that we can close this ‘pan tune’ era and return to playing ‘good calypsoes’ where panorama is concerned.


Leave comments in the WST Forum

  Bookmark and Share


When Steel Talks...
Everybody Listens!!

Get your WST Tee shirt now!

Click for details


 Follow When Steel Talks on

WST YouTube Channel


When Steel Talks...
Everybody Listens!!

Get your WST Tee shirt now!
Click for details

Hall of Fame

To join mailing list, send an e-mail with Subscribe in the Subject line click here



© 2011 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved


Home *  Pan News  * Headlines * Events * Message Board * Guest Book * Pan Radio * Pan Global * Pan TnT  * Pan New York  * About Us * Join Mailing List * Contact

©2011   All rights reserved

Search for Anything Steelpan Music Related