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Is handpan a percussion instrument

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This is a question that has been on my mind for a while now. After doing some research, I’m still not quite sure. The official definition of a handpan is “a round, Concavo-convex steel pan played with the hands.” However, I’m not sure if that really classifies as a percussion instrument.

I mean, yes, you are using your hands to hit the steel pan, but is that really classified as percussion? I feel like there should be more to it than that. Maybe it’s the fact that you can produce a wide range of sounds with a handpan. Or maybe it’s because handpans are often used in music therapy.

Either way, I’m still not quite sure if handpan is a percussion instrument. What do you think?

What is a handpan?

A handpan is a musical instrument in the percussion family. It is generally played with the hands, although some players use mallets. The handpan is a type of steelpan that was invented in Switzerland. It is also sometimes known as a hang drum, after the company that first manufactured them.

The history of the handpan

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The handpan is a relatively new type of musical instrument, having only been invented in the early 2000s. The instrument is played by striking the surface of the pan with the hands, causing the metal plates inside to vibrate and produce a unique sound. While the handpan has only been around for a short time, it has quickly gained popularity among musicians all over the world.

The first handpans were created in Switzerland by two men named Felix Rohner and Sabina Scharer. Rohner and Scharer were both members of a group called PANArt, which was dedicated to exploring new ways of making music with metal instruments. After experimenting with various methods, they finally settled on the design that is now used for all handpans.

Since their invention, handpans have been used in a wide variety of genres, from classical to pop to electronic music. They have also been featured in movies and television shows, such as the 2013 film “Inside Llewyn Davis” and the popular TV series “ Stranger Things”.

How is a handpan played?


A handpan is a steel percussion instrument with a convex surface that is played with the hands. The player strikes the surface of the handpan with their palms or fingertips to create sound.

Handpans are usually made from two pieces of steel welded together to form a hemispherical shape. The bottom half of the handpan is left open, while the top half has a series of depressions or notes cut into it. Each note has a specific pitch, and when struck, produces a unique sound.

Handpans are played by striking the surface of the instrument with the palms or fingertips. The player can create different sounds by striking different areas of the handpan, or by using different techniques such as rolling or dampening.

The benefits of playing a handpan

There are many benefits to playing a handpan, including the following:

-Handpans are a very portable instrument, making them easy to take with you wherever you go.
-They have a very soothing and relaxing sound, making them perfect for meditation or stress relief.
-Handpans are easy to learn how to play, and even those with no musical experience can quickly learn some basic techniques.
-Playing a handpan can be a very introspective and intimate experience, allowing you to connect with yourself on a deeper level.

The different types of handpans

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There are a few different types of handpans, each with their own unique sound. The most common types are:

  1. Pantam: This is the most popular type of handpan and is what most people think of when they think of a handpan. It is a single steel instrument with a concave wooden bottom and a convex metal top. The pantam has optional gaps called notes that can be played by striking the instrument with the hand or with a mallet.
  2. Hang: Thehang is a double-sided steel handpan that has a convex top and a concave bottom. It originates from Switzerland and takes its name from the German word for “hill.” The hang has a range of about three octaves and its notes are struck with the hands or mallets.
  3. Halo: The halo is similar to the pantam but has a convex bottom and a concave top. It is named for the ring-like shape that is formed when the two halves of the instrument are joined together. The halo has a range of about two octaves and is played with the hands or mallets.
  4. Tongue drum: The tongue drum is any type of percussion instrument that has tongues (or bars) that vibrate to create sound. Tongue drums can be made out of wood, metal, or even plastic, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some tongue drums only have one row of tongues, while others have two or more rows that can be played simultaneously.
    Where to buy a handpan

A handpan is a percussion instrument that is similar to a steel drum. They are typically made from steel or aluminum and have a concave shape. They are played with the hands, and the sound is produced by striking the surface of the instrument with the palms or fingertips.

Handpans can be purchased from a variety of retailers, both online and offline. Some popular online retailers include Hang Music, Pantheon Steel, and NS Design. There are also a number of offline retailers that sell handpans, such as music stores and instrument shops. When purchasing a handpan, it is important to consider the size, weight, and material of the instrument, as well as the price.

How to care for a handpan


Handpan is a percussion instrument that is played by striking the bowls with the hands. The bowls are usually made of steel, but can also be made of other materials such as aluminum, bronze, or even acrylic. The handpan is a relatively new instrument, and as such, there is no definitive way to care for it. However, there are some general guidelines that will help you keep your handpan in good condition.

First and foremost, it is important to keep your handpan clean. Wipe down the bowl after each use with a soft cloth and mild soap. If you notice any buildup on the bowl, you can clean it with a non-abrasive cleaner such as rubbing alcohol or vinegar. It is also important to avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your handpan, as they can damage the finish.

It is also important to protect your handpan from extreme temperatures. Do not leave it in direct sunlight or in a car that is parked in direct sunlight. Additionally, do not store your handpan in an area that experiences drastic temperature changes, such as a garage or shed. If you do need to store your handpan in an area with extreme temperatures, make sure to cover it with a cloth or blanket to protect it from the elements.

When not in use, store your handpan in its case. This will protect the bowl from scratches and dents. Be sure to place some padding inside the case (such as bubble wrap) to prevent the handpan from moving around while in transit.

The future of the handpan

As the popularity of the handpan grows, so does the demand for new and innovative ways to play this unique instrument. While traditional handpans are typically made from steel or aluminum, there are now a number of different materials being used to create these instruments. In addition to metal, handpans can now be made from wood, plastic, glass, and even stone. This allows for a wider range of sounds and textures that can be produced by the handpan.

One of the most exciting developments in recent years has been the emergence of electric handpans. These instruments offer a whole new range of possibilities for performers and composers alike. Electric handpans allow for infinite sustain, increased volume, and a wide variety of effects that can be applied to the sound. This opens up new doors for exploration and creativity with this already fascinating instrument.

who knows what the future may hold for the handpan? As more people discover this unique instrument, we can only imagine the new and exciting possibilities that will be explored in the years to come.

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