A steel band is an ensemble comprising various types of steel drums, or pans as they are known, and a percussion section with drumset, congas, and other Latin percussion instruments. Steel pans are organized into a family of instruments, similar to the organization of the string family. In a steel band, different types of steel pan correspond to different musical registers and functions. High register instruments typically play the melody, whereas middle and low register instruments usually provide the accompaniment.
Musical styles from the Caribbean such as calypso, reggae, and salsa are often staples of the repertory, but a steel band is capable of performing any kind of music.