Double Tenor Pan


Double Tenor Pan


Physical description

This instrument consists of two drums with a “skirt” or side length of approx 12-16 cm (Blake, 110). The notes are “raised” from the concave bowl in an arrangement that varies the most widely. The lowest notes found along the circumference of the bowl are U-shaped, while the higher octave notes are either oval or circular-shaped inside. The double tenor pans must be suspended on stands or a rack to allow the drums to resonate and are played with moderately thick rubber mallets.

Historical background

Ellie Mannette, an early innovator for the Invaders steel band, is credited with creating the first double tenor pan. He created this design (along with the double seconds) in an effort to expand the range of notes in the early steel band (Blake, 110). It is used mainly to support the tenor melody while occasionally providing harmonic support.


The double tenor has a chromatic range between F3 and B-flat5, with 29 to 30 notes. Its range is one octave below the tenor pan.


Trinidad and Tobago


111.241.22 Sets of gongs with divided surface sounding different pitches


Steel Pan Ensemble




Blake, F.I.R.  The Trinidad & Tobago Steel Pan: History and Evolution.  Port of Spain, Trinidad:  Published by author.

Goddard, George “Sonny.”  1991.  Forty Years in the Steelbands, 1939-1979.  Port of Spain, Karia Press.

Steumpfle, Stephen.  1995.  The Steelband Movement: The Forging of a National Art in Trinidad and Tobago.  Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

Thomas, Jeffrey Todd. 1985.  A History of Pan and the Evolution of the Steel Band in Trinidad and Tobago.  M.A. Thesis.  Middletown, CT:  Wesleyan University.

Additional resources


Amelia Ingram (2004)



“Double Tenor Pan,” Wesleyan University Virtual Instrument Museum 2.0, accessed May 21, 2024,