Tuning Steel pans

k.swafford@genie.com k.swafford@genie.com
Fri, 14 Jun 1996 02:27:00 +0000 (UTC)

     I have a steel pan around the basement and the means to measure
its tuning, so:

Note    1st    2nd    3rd    4th   5th    6th    7th    8th
C5:    26.0   23.9   26.2   24.8  11.2   28.3   -7.0   24.0
G5:    21.3   24.3   28.3   23.3  11.3    NR     NR     NR
C6:    26.7   22.1   26.4    NR    NR     NR     NR     NR

     (NR means the ETD couldn't get a reading at that level.)

     As you can see above, there is inharmonicity but it is
inconsistent.  The partials of the two C's are "flat," and the
partials of the G are sharp.

     I don't know much about steel pans, but I would think that a
good maker would have to get good enough to control the inharmonicity
of the individual notes in order get an instrument that could be
tuned.  A (piano) ETD might very well be a good investment.

                                             Kent Swafford

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