There seems to be an overwhelming consensus among the handpan community at large that traditional Steelpan makers/tuners are off-the-mark regarding handpans, as far as lacking competent handpan making/tuning skills.
This apparent consensus is glaring evidence that shows the vast, misinformed bias that the subscribers to this view utilize in order to attempt to discredit traditional Steelpan makers on the whole. Notwithstanding the fact that the most prominent members of the Handpan Mafia come from a background of manufacturing/tuning traditional steelpans, overwhelmingly this fact appears to be either lost or ignored among the many who hold the fallacious view that traditional Steelpan makers/tuners are unable to properly tune a handpan.
Not only is this misguided view fallacious, but it is also LAUGHABLE!
In light of the fact that the likely "Boss"/ leading member of the Handpan Mafia participated in an apprenticeship program under a traditional Steelpan master, it is totally ignorant to think that a traditional Steelpan maker/tuner master would not have a relatively easy go at making and tuning handpans. Other leading Handpan Mafia members also have backgrounds in the traditional Steelpan world and still maintain ties to that world today despite their Handpan oriented success.
So what is all the fuss among many in the Handpan community who maintain that traditional Steelpan makers/tuners are out of their league really about?
Most likely, the answer lies in those cultural differences again, which I touched upon in a recent blog post entitled,
"The Radical Differences Between the Traditional Steelpan Communities and the Handpan Communities".
As far as traditional Steelpan makers/tuners making handpans is concerned, as the Sherlock Holmes saying goes, "It's elementary my dear Watson!"
Just as Sherlock Holmes frequently uttered these words to his less capable colleague in the midst of solving a crime, as more and more traditional Steelpan makers/tuners wake up to the reality of the Handpan and the crimes (cultural theft, cultural misappropriation, etc.) that are being committed by the Handpan Mafia and their dimwitted soldiers, over time, the Handpan Mafia's grip on the market will loosen.
In essence, handpan tuning to a traditional steelpan tuner is quite elementary as traditional steelpan tuners have an intuitive, fundamental grasp of how to tune a handpan effectively. Just ask any of the many members of the Handpan Mafia, most of whom come from a traditonal steelpan tuning background!