Steelband Panorama 2011

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Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2011 - HOME

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

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recommend your favorite tune for panorama 2011

What is a Pan Tune?

A When Steel Talks Steelband Panorama Competition Special

When Steel Talks was recently contacted by a well-known steelpan music academic who expressed some concern over certain tunes which have been listed in the 2011 Pan Tunes lineup.

The heading “Panorama Tunes for 2011” simply means the composer of the tune sent us written confirmation, with the submission of their music work(s), that they wanted their tune to be considered by steel orchestras for the global panorama seasons of said year.

As to what constitutes a panorama tune, that is still up for debate. Is it musical content and/or layout? Is it lyrical content? Is it historical content that relates to pan? Is it a tune written by the band’s arranger? Or is a “pan tune” simply a tune that a band has chosen to play at panorama - no matter what the reason?

If Desperadoes had chosen “Discount” instead of Benjai’s “Trini” would it (Discount) now be considered a legitimate panorama tune? In 2006 Exodus Steel Orchestra chose the popular soca jam “Max It Up” by Destra Garcia, and by all accounts were severely punished, because “Max It Up” was considered to not be a ‘legitimate’ tune for panorama. However, Zanda took Siparia Deltones with the very unconventional, “I’m Not Drunk” to the panorama finals.

The late Clive Bradley, made a name for himself particularly in New York by choosing tunes no one would dare to use or think about using - for panorama.  The result was some of the greatest music arrangements ever done for the steelpan family of instruments. On the short list, those that come to mind are - Shadow’s “Dingolay”“Horn” and Stranger”,  Andre Tanker’s Ben Lion”,  Carl Jacob’s & David Rudder’s Trini to D Bone, Destra’s “Celebrate”, Johnny King’s “Darling”.  And just one panorama season ago, Yohan Popwell took New York by storm with the globally popular arrangement of Miguel Reyes’ Bandoleros.”  None of these songs can be considered traditional “pan tunes”. 

Incidentally, Clive Bradley expressed to When Steel Talks on numerous occasions, how much he appreciated the ‘openness’ and ‘freeness’ of New York which did not limit him, but instead allowed him to arrange music he knew was not considered “pan tunes” in Trinidad, but - however brought out the passion of the New York pan players, the true potential of the steel orchestra phenomenon, and the beauty and majesty of music played by PAN.

One of Trinidad & Tobago’s young soca stars who is herself passionate about the steelpan art form, L’il Bitts, submitted to When Steel Talks for the 2011 panorama season “We Own the Night offering is probably considered not a traditional pan tune -but it is firmly written solely about the Panorama competition itself!

Having said all this, until - or if ever - there are some definitive rules or criteria agreed upon by all the major “parties” concerned - When Steel Talks will not eliminate any person’s submission, within reason.  To do so, could artificially hinder the natural evolution of the Pan Tune Genre.

What do you think?


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