The Handpan – HandpanMusic

Hang THE HANG

THE HANG IS A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT IN THE IDIOPHONE CLASS CREATED BY FELIX ROHNER AND SABINA SCHÄRER IN BERN, SWITZERLAND. THE NAME OF THEIR COMPANY IS PANART HANGBAU AG. THE HANG IS SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS A HANG DRUM, BUT THE INVENTORS CONSIDER THIS A MISNOMER AND STRONGLY DISCOURAGE ITS USE.

THE INSTRUMENT IS CONSTRUCTED FROM TWO HALF-SHELLS OF DEEP DRAWN, NITRIDED STEEL SHEET GLUED TOGETHER AT THE RIM LEAVING THE INSIDE HOLLOW AND CREATING A DISTINCT ‘UFO SHAPE’. THE TOP (“DING”) SIDE HAS A CENTRE ‘NOTE’ HAMMERED INTO IT AND SEVEN OR EIGHT ‘TONE FIELDS’ HAMMERED AROUND THE CENTRE. THE BOTTOM (“GU”) IS A PLAIN SURFACE THAT HAS A ROLLED HOLE IN THE CENTRE WITH A TUNED NOTE THAT CAN BE CREATED WHEN THE RIM IS STRUCK.

THE HANG USES SOME OF THE SAME BASIC PHYSICAL PRINCIPLES AS A STEELPAN, BUT MODIFIED IN SUCH A WAY AS TO ACT AS A HELMHOLTZ RESONATOR. THE CREATION OF THE HANG WAS THE RESULT OF MANY YEARS OF RESEARCH ON THE STEELPAN AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS. THE INVENTORS OF THE HANG CONTINUED TO REFINE THE SHAPE AND MATERIALS AND PRODUCED SEVERAL VARIATIONS OVER THE YEARS.

THE NAME HANG COMES FROM THE BERNESE GERMAN WORD FOR HAND. IT IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK AND PROPERTY OF PANART HANGBAU AG.

THE HANG WAS DEVELOPED IN THE YEAR 2000 AND INTRODUCED AT THE MUSIKMESSE FRANKFURT IN 2001. IT IS 52 CM IN DIAMETER AND HAS A HEIGHT OF 24 CM. THE TWO DEEP DRAWN STEEL HEMISPHERES OF THE HANG ARE HARDENED BY A PROCESS KNOWN AS GAS-NITRIDING. THE SIDE CONSIDERED THE ‘BOTTOM’ HAS AN OPENING (GU) IN THE CENTER WHICH ALLOWS THE GENERATION OF THE BASS NOTE THROUGH HELMHOLTZ RESONANCE.

ALL ARE TUNED HARMONICALLY (WITH FUNDAMENTAL, OCTAVE AND THE FIFTH ABOVE THE OCTAVE) AROUND A LOW NOTE (DING) AT THE CENTER OF THE TONE CIRCLE. EACH CREATION IS NUMBERED AND SIGNED.

THERE ARE ONLY TWO PEOPLE WHO BUILD HANGHANG, THE INVENTORS FELIX ROHNER AND SABINA SCHÄRER. THEY HAVE A LITTLE WORKSHOP IN BERN WHERE EVERY HANG HAS BEEN CREATED.

PANART NO LONGER PRODUCE THE HANG AND HAVE MOVED ON TO DEVELOP A NEW INSTRUMENT CALLED THE “GUBAL”

GROWTH OF A WORLDWIDE INTEREST IN THIS INSTRUMENT MADE THAT NEW MAKERS AROUND THE WORLD STARTED TO SHOW UP, BEING IN RUSSIA, USA, UKRAINE, SPAIN, etc.

Here a Panart PDF file explaining all the evolution of the instrument.

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