Steel Pan Tuning
- a Handbook for Steel Pan Making and Tuning
- the one and only book of it's kind
- now on the Internet!
Presented here in full format, including pictures
Web presentation done by the author, with courtesy
of the publisher, Musikmuseet in Stockholm, Sweden.
Printed version of the handbook written by Ulf
Kronman. Stockholm, December 1991.
The handbook was converted to web format by Ulf
Kronman. Stockholm, July 1995, and PDF
format in August 1998.
This book is dedicated to
the rhythmic people of Trinidad and Tobago
and their master tuners.
Cover design and layout of printed edition by
The web material and the PDF is copyrighted to the author, but may be
copied and distributed for non-commercial use as long as the
source of the material is stated.
Steel Pan Tuning - a Handbook for Steel Pan Making and Tuning
by Ulf Kronman
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
About the author
Ulf Kronman, 38, is a Swedish physicist and steel pan player.
He has studied at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm
and now pursues post-graduate studies in acoustics at the
In 1979 Kronman went to the Caribbean and fell in love with
the steel pan - a unique instrument and the only genuinely
new invention in acoustic musical instruments during the twentieth
century. He became a proponent of steelband music in Sweden
and a founding member of the Stockholm steelband
In 1987 he started to systematically investigate the manufacturing
process and the acoustics of the pan, using advanced facilities
of the Department of Music Acoustics at the Royal Institute
Kronman has combined his keen interest in the making and
tuning of pans with his knowledge of acoustics to produce
this book - a thorough and detailed documentation of the steel
pan and how to make it and tune it.
director Musikmuseet, Stockholm
former ass. director Trinidad & Tobago Folklore Archives
Some reviews of the Steel Pan Tuning Handbook
Sean Michael Ragan
gives a very positive review of the Steel Pan Tuning
handbook in an article in the
Some quotes from the review:
In fact, even as I was out in the backyard brutalizing everyone’s
eardrums, Swedish physicist and musician Ulf Kronman was just putting
the finishing touches on a book that, today, remains the seminal work
on the practical aspects of steel pan manufacture. Steel Pan Tuning:
A Handbook for Steel Pan Making and Tuning was first published in
December 1991, based on fieldwork Kronman did in 1989 and 1990
with steel pan tuners Lawrence “Egar” Mayers and Rudy Smith.
... you will not find a better reference than Kronman’s book.
For me, at least, it’s hard to imagine a better reference.
The practical section of the book covers everything from choosing
the 55-gallon drum to fine tuning the pan, finishing it, and mounting
it on a stand, and the appendices are filled with meticulous
measurements of real pans of many types and the original tools used
to make them. A detailed theory section addresses the acoustical
physics of a steel pan ...