What is StillPan and why is Google Doodle celebrating it today?

Google often adds an interactive image or video to its logo to celebrate a specific day, event, achievement or person.

It’s called Google Doodle and it’s a temporary private change that only lasts 24 hours, until this special event ends.

Today’s doodles are an amazing video that honors something called Steelpan, but it confuses many Googlers.

What is StillPan? Why is it celebrated today? Read on to find out…

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What is StillPan?

Google Doodles celebrates a musical instrument called the Stillpan on Tuesday, July 26th.

Also known as a drum or steel drum, the acoustic instrument originated in Trinidad and Tobago and resembles a large silver metal drum set on a stand.

Steelpan is made from 55 gallon industrial drums used to ship goods. It was invented in the 20th century, but its origins go back to the 18th century.

It is played using a pair of straight sticks with rubber tips on the end – some professional musicians use four pens, holding two in each hand!

Oftentimes, the stilban is played in groups known as steel bands or steel orchestras and is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago.

Why is Google celebrating the device?

On July 26, Google celebrates Steelpan as the Trinidad All-Steel Pan Percussion Orchestra (TASPO) performed at the Festival of Britain on this day in 1951.

It was a defining moment as it introduced Stillpan to the world as well as an entirely new musical style.

Today’s doodle, “Celebrated Steelpan,” is a stunning cartoon video made in a sepia hue to celebrate a famous musical instrument.

In the clip, which also celebrates the culture and history of Trinidad and Tobago, people can be seen playing Stillpan in groups.

“Today’s Doodle celebrates the metal percussion instrument created and influenced by the Trinbagonian,” Google said.

Enslaved Africans were taken to Trinidad in the 18th century and brought with them their drumming traditions, which quickly became a huge part of the country’s culture.

For decades, it has been a major part of the Trinidad and Kannapol Carnival, an annual festival celebrated across the country.

Painted by Trinidad and Tobago-based artist Nicholas Huggins

Stillpan’s video was drawn by artist Nicholas Huggins, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago.

Miami-based musician Etienne Charles has composed the music with Stillpan soloist Lennox ‘Boogsy’ Sharp, and both collaborators are excited about their work on Google Doodle.

“I hope people can shake off the spirit of hard work and creativity of the people of Trinidad and Tobago,” Nichols said.

“We are a small country on the world stage, but the fact that we have presented such a beautiful machine to the world is a matter of great honor.”

Tian said he wanted people to feel “the magic in a solid mould,” which symbolizes “community, artistic excellence and scientific innovation.”

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