Google often adds an interactive image or video to its logo to commemorate a specific day, event, achievement or person.
It’s called a Google Doodle and is a special, temporary alteration that only lasts for 24 hours, until that special event is over.
Today’s Doodle is an incredible video that honours something called a steelpan, but it’s confusing many Google users.
What is a steelpan? And why is it being celebrated today? Read on to find out…
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What is a steelpan?
The Google Doodle on Tuesday, July 26th celebrates a musical instrument called the steelpan.
Also known as a pan or steel drum, the acoustic instrument originated in Trinidad and Tobago and looks like a big, silver metal drum on a stand.
The steelpan is made out of 55 gallon industrial drums which are used to ship cargo. It was invented in the 20th century but has origins that date back to the 1700s.
It’s played using a pair of straight sticks tipped with rubber on the end – and some advanced musicians use four pansticks, holding two in each hand!
Often, the steelpan is played in groups known as a steelband or steel orchestra and it’s the national instrument of Trinidad & Tobago.
Why is Google celebrating the instrument?
Google is celebrating the steelpan on July 26th because on this day in 1951, the Trinidad All-Steel Pan Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) performed at the Festival of Britain.
This was a defining moment as it introduced the steelpan to the world as well as a brand new music genre.
Today’s Doodle, titled “Celebrated Steelpan,” is an incredible cartoon video produced in a sepia tint that celebrates the popular instrument.
In the clip, which also celebrates Trinidad & Tobago’s culture and history, people can be seen playing steelpans in groups.
“Today’s Doodle celebrated the steelpan, a percussion instrument made of metal, created and influenced by Trinbagonians,” Google said.
Ensalved Africans were taken to Trinidad in the 1700s and brought their drumming traditions over with them, which quickly became a huge part of the country’s culture.
For decades, it has been a staple part of Trinidadian Carnival and Canboulay, the annual festival which is celebrated across the country.
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Illustrated by Trinidad & Tobago-based artist Nicholas Huggins
The steelpan video was illustrated by artist Nicholas Huggins, who is from Trinidad and Tobago.
Miami-based musician Etienne Charles composed the music with steelpan soloist Lennox ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe, and both collaborators are extremely passionate about their work on the Google Doodle.
“I hope that people can take away the sense of the industriousness and creativity of the people of Trinidad & Tobago,” Nicolas said.
“We are a small country on the global stage but the fact that we have given the world such a beautiful instrument is something to be held in the highest regard.”
Etienne added that he wants people to “feel the magic in the steelpan” which is a symbol of “community, artistic excellence, and scientific innovation”.
The post What is a steelpan and why is today’s Google Doodle celebrating it? appeared first on Ladunblog.
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