Handpans are not merely musical instruments; they are mystical in how they inspire and motivate people, help people heal, and bring mental serenity to people who live stressful lifestyles. A variety knows this instrument names, including Pantam, Cupola, Sound Sculpture, and UFO Drum, among others; nevertheless, the name Handpan is by far the most common.
The Hand Pan Drum is a handpan, an idiophone instrument that takes its inspiration from the steelpan played in the Caribbean. Switzerland's Felix Rohner & Sabina Schärer have developed it. PANArt Hangbau AG is the name of the company. The Hang's creators strenuously discourage the usage of the term "hang drum," which they see as a misnomer, about their creation.
How to make it -
The Hand Pan Drum is made from two halves of deep-drawn, nitrided steel sheet soldered together at the rim to make the convex lens shape. One "note" is hammered through into the center of the top ("Ding") side, with another seven or eight "tone fields" arranged around it. Its bottom ("Gu") is flat with a rolling hole at its middle that produces a tuned sound when struck.
The Hang is a modernized steelpan that operates like a Helmholtz resonator, using the same fundamental physical principles. Years of study on the steelpan, as well as other instruments, led to the development of the Hang. The Hand Pan Drum's designers have made numerous iterations, each a more refined original version.
Because of its convex appearance, the term Hang originates from a Bernese German word with two meanings: hand and hillside. As a trademark, it belongs to PANArt Hangbau AG.
In 2007, American steelpan manufacturer Pantheon Steel used the word "handpans" to describe a family of instruments inspired by the Hang's rising popularity worldwide.
How to Play with the Hang -
Most commonly, the player of the Hang will play it while sitting cross-legged on the floor. Rather than using mallets, most Hang players opt to use their hands and fingers. For whom might this lighter technique, which yields a tone rich in overtones, be a consideration? Mellower and less piercing than the classic steelpan played with mallets.
The Hang's upper (Ding) face can be played to evoke the tones of a harp, chimes, or homophonic tuned steel pans. Tone fields are arranged in a crosshatch pattern from high to low on the tone circle, allowing the player to move up or down the scale by switching between left & right-hand strikes. Each tonal field also contains many overtones, all oriented similarly concerning the central dome.
The Helmholtz resonance, like that of a ghatam or udu, is created between the air within the cavity and the circular hole, or Gu, on the underside of the Hang.