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The fascinating history of the handpan: from its beginnings to the present day

Die faszinierende Geschichte der Handpan: Von den Anfängen bis heute

The handpan, also known as the hang, is a relatively young instrument that has gained immense popularity in recent years. Its enchanting sound and meditative playing style have captivated people all over the world. But where does this unique instrument actually come from? Let's delve into the history of the handpan and explore the fascinating journey it has taken to reach us.

The birth of the handpan

The initial idea for the handpan came from the musician Reto Weber, who laid the foundation for the development of the Hang with his desire for a musical instrument that was playable like the ghatam but rich in tone like the steel drum.

Based on this idea, the instrument makers Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer developed a new type of instrument called the "Hang" in their company PANArt Hangbau AG around the turn of the millennium. Inspired by steel drums and ghats, they created a unique sound miracle from deep-drawn metal shells.

In developing the Hang, they experimented with different materials and shapes until they finally perfected the unique construction of deep-drawn metal shells. This construction allows the bowls to vibrate in different ways, resulting in a complex and fascinating sound.

The triumph of the Handpan: a global phenomenon

Despite its high price and limited availability, the Hang quickly aroused international interest. Musicians and sound enthusiasts were fascinated by its extraordinary sound and wide range of playing possibilities. Videos of Hang players on online platforms such as YouTube contributed to the instrument's popularity and further increased demand.

The birth of the handpan: alternative and variety

The high demand and limited access to the Hang led to the creation of the first alternative handpans in 2007. Independent instrument makers around the world began to develop their own versions of the instrument, which were similar in design to the Hang but varied in shape, tuning and sound.

The term "handpan" was introduced as a collective name for these new instruments to distinguish them from the trademarked brand name "Hang". The handpan movement was born and with it an immense variety of instruments, manufacturers and playing styles.

Choosing the right handpan

Choosing the right handpan depends on the individual needs and preferences of the player. Important factors in the selection process are the size of the instrument, the tuning, the sound and the price. Visit one of our 40 showrooms and see the sound for yourself. Or visit our online store.

Handpan today: a vibrant community

Today, the handpan scene is a diverse and vibrant community of players, farmers and enthusiasts of this unique instrument. Workshops, festivals and online communities offer space for exchange, inspiration and making music together.

The handpan has developed from an exclusive niche instrument into a global phenomenon that connects people from different cultures and backgrounds. Its extraordinary sound and meditative playing style contribute to a mindful and harmonious coexistence.

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