Steel pan (steel drum) is a work in progress. It is still considered a new instrument despite being over 70 years old. Tremendous progress has been made during this time but there are still a few limitations.
Most have a limited range compared to other instruments (approximately 11/2 octaves)
The highest notes of the frontline pans do not sound as well as the lower notes
The bass pans are large, difficult to transport and take up a lot of space
Some musical effects such as staccato (a detached style of playing) are difficult to achieve on the steel pan.
Pan makers around the world are constantly investigating ways to improve and refine the instrument.
The following are just a few of these steel pan innovations. Click on the name of the innovation for more information on the topic.