Home page with basic details
What's happening in the build up to Panorama 2006 - as it happens
Pictures of players on the float 2005
Pictures taken in rehearsals 2004
Compehensive coverage of rehearsals, runup to Panorama and Glissando on the road 2003
The main Venture Centre website

G l i s s a n d S t e e l   O r c h e s t r a

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Storyboard with pictures of the run up to Panorama 2003

Storyboard with pictures showing the float on the road in 2003

Additional information about the Glissando's history, where it is, education and funding
Details of pans for sale and how pans are made
email us at
glissando@btconnect.com

The process of making a pan is very labour intensive as all the work is done by hand. Apparently a company in Japan makes pans using presses in a mass production process but panmaking is an art and no two handmade pans are quite the same. Parris has many years experience of making pans and the results are pans which, through trial and error over the years, not only by him but other pan makers, have become the best designs available. The layout of tenor pans, in particular, has developed over the years.

A tenor pan covers more than two octaves (from the low D to the top F#, a range of 28 notes). Since the pitch of a note depends on its surface area, it follows that the pan must have enough surface area to contain the notes plus the inevitable spaces in between. In order to obtain this space, it's necessary to dish the pan into a deep convex shape and doing this, while stretching the metal evenly, is a process requiring a lot of metal beating, patience and the ability to put up with a lot of noise.

All steel pans, from Tenor to Bass, start off as part of a steel barrel or drum It's a labour intensive job, the first step being 'sinking'. This is the process of creating a convex surface big enough to hold all the notes.
The shape of the dish must be precise, so it's marked out in rings each of which must be a particular depth. At this stage the depth of the centre is being measured.
The outer notes are marked out using a spring steel strip aligned with outer and inner marks. Templates, whose shape has been determined from experience are positioned by eye to make best use of the space available.
Once their positions are determined the inner notes can be marked out. The marked out lines are used to position a centrepunch which beats out the edges of the notes.

These pictures show only the start of the processes needed to make a pan but the last one is recognisably what is becoming a musical instrument. Other processes which are necessary include tempering, where the pan is heated over a large gas burner (charcoal fires were originally used for this), the tuning of the notes, the cleaning and rubbing down of the pan before it is chome plated and final tuning after the chroming has been done.

Tenors, double seconds, cellos and sometimes quadrophonics are normally chrome plated, while the 4 pan tenor bass and bass pans are normally left painted as their number and size doesn't warrant plating.

As can be seen from the pictures on either side, the finished pans (double tenors in this case) are beautiful objects as well as being accurately tuned musical instruments.

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