Metallurgical and Acoustical Comparisons for a Brass Pan with a Caribbean Steel Pan Standard
The development and fabrication of α-brass pans, including the sinking of the pan head in the traditional manner using a hammer and patterning musical notes and their turning is compared with a low-carbon steel (Caribbean-type) pan as a standard. In this study these experimental pans are fabricated by welding the α-brass or low-carbon steel platforms to a low-carbon steel hoop and side metal or skirt. These pans are 2.54 cm larger in diameter than pans traditionally fabricated from 55-gallon barrels. The corresponding pan head materials are examined by optical and electron microscopy and hardness profiles are measured as well. Deformation is shown to influence the acoustic response of ideal, flat, circular discs of both the α-brass and low-carbon steel as well as 316L stainless steel. The frequency-amplitude-time spectra for common octave ranges are compared and chromatic tones are shown for the α-brass as well as the low-carbon steel standard. These results indicate that a wide range of hard metals or alloys can be used to produce musical pan instruments.