Hang Drum & Handpan | About | History | Handpan Music
About the Hang Drum and the Handpan
The Hang Drum is a magnificent instrument with many aspect to it. And this peculiar instrument simply cannot be covered in a single post, so in this post the following points will be discussed:
- What is the difference between a Hang Drum and a Handpan.
- About the Handpan and the Hang Drum
- What is the Price of a Hang Drum and a Handpan.
- Hang Drum and Handpan Quality
- Hang Drum and Handpan Scales
What is the Difference between a Hang Drum and a Handpan
When you start moving around the Handpan universe, you soon realize that there are some name issues. If you are interested in learning exactly what the difference is, between a Hang Drum and a Handpan, you should check out our post on just that matter: Hang Drum & Handpan | Difference Between Hang Drum & Handpan
But if you want to save that article for another day, here is the short version!
The name Hang Drum is actually wrong, the proper name is “Hang” (pronounced “Hong/Hung”). The name Hang is only used for the instruments created by the inventor of the Hang, called panART.
The name Handpan, is an umbrella term for all the Hang-looking and sounding instruments, that are made by any other maker than panART. The was a huge surge in interest in this instrument in the early 2000, that many other builders started making the instrument, and these are called Handpans.
Hang = Instruments made by the inventors, panART
Handpan = Instruments made by everyone else
(In fact, panART has publically stated their distaste of the term Hang Drum. Read about it HERE.)
Due to the fact, that the Hang isn’t produced anymore, and for simplicity, I will from this point onwards use the term “Handpan“.
About the Handpan and the Hang Drum
The Handpan and the Hang are essentially the same instrument. The instrument is quite famous for its interesting shape, which is circular. It consists of two half’s of a shell, which are glued together after a tuning process. The material used is nitrated steel.
The top half of the instrument has several tune fields, which each plays their respectable tone when struck. Often a Handpan has 7 to 9 tones, and these tones are all in a musical scale. Quite often the instrument is tuned to a D-scale, which means that there are 7 tone fields, which consist of the following notes:
- A, B, C#, D, E, F#, A
See the image below on how notes can be arranged on a Handpan.
Hang Drum and Handpan Price
Let me just start off by saying, that acquiring a Handpan or a Hang, can be quite the costly affair.
I would say that most Handpans cost around 2200$, but as with all goods and services there is a price interval and it often goes hand in hand with the quality of the instrument.
You can find a Handpan prototype or a homemade Handpan on EBay for well under 1000$. But you can also find a original panART Hang on EBay for up towards 15,000$ (!!!).
I have listed below some of the different price intervals. For a more in-depth look at the different builders and their prices, check out the article “Where to Buy a Handpan and the Different Prices“.
1000$ or less Handpans (Very Cheap Handpans):
Honestly… Your only choice is probably EBay. Perhaps you can find someone who is selling a cheap Handpan on some local Craigslist-looking site or used items group. But there are VERY few Handpans in this category.
As I am writing this, there are two Handpans in the sub 1000$ category, and is not saying about the quality or legitimacy:
Another place to keep an eye open for cheap Handpans are Facebook groups. Down below is an example of a Facebook group for buying and selling Handpans:
1000$ – 3000$ Handpans (Reasonable Priced Handpans)
In this category, you will find the vast majority of all Handpans. Most respectable builders sell Handpans costing just above 2.000$. Some examples are mentioned down below:
PantheonSteel: Around 1800$
(From PantheonSteels website)
(From AuraHandpans website)
(From BaliSteelpans website)
(From Esapans website)
3000$ or more Handpans (Expensive Handpans)
There aren’t that many Handpans in this category. If you order a special scale from a builder, the Handpan will probably be more expensive and might cost over 3000$.
An example of a Handpan in this price range is from CFoulke:
(From CFoulkes website)
Hang Drum and Handpan Quality
This is a very important point, since a Handpan can cost a hefty sum of money, you better get something that is of great quality and to your liking.
Often in the world of Handpans, the price and the quality goes hand in hand. But other times, they don’t.
There are also Handpan scammers on websites such as EBay, which sell the instrument for a lot of money, but the quality is poor. There will be an in-depth article on how to spot a scammer and how to avoid it.
My best advice is for you to get familiar with Handpans as an instrument and listen to a lot of the music. This is not only great music, but it will train your ear to hear what a great quality Handpan sounds like and you will be able to determine by yourself, if a Handpan is of high or low quality.
Another example of quality and price NOT correlating, is the auctions of the early Hangs (remember the Hang? The instrument created by panART and was the inspiration to all other Handpans). Some Hangs can sell for up towards 15.000$ on auctions, but they do no sound 7-8 times better than a 2000$ Handpan. Don’t get me wrong, the original Hang is of great quality, but the high price is due to the fact, that it is a collectors object/investment now.
Hang Drum and Handpan Scales
There are so many scales for the Handpan. If you contact a builder with a specific scale, he or she will probably make it. Handpans are usually made with 7-10 notes, so the possibility of scales is enormous.
Also, some Handpan makers have started adding notes on the bottom shell of the instrument, thus increasing the total number of notes.
There will be an in-depth post coming soon, which goes into detail about the different Handpan scales. So, stay tuned!
How to Buy a Hang Drum or a Handpan
If you are interested in buying a Handpan or a Hang, there are quite a few things you need to consider. We’ve made an in-depth post about all the different things you must keep in mind when buying a Handpan and exactly where you can get them. Check out that post HERE.
Soon, there will also be a detailed post containing all the various builders and sites (with links) to where you can buy a Handpan.
If you can’t wait and the money in your pocket is burning to be spent, there are some Handpans to acquire on Amazon. Also, there are some Handpan accessories. Check it out down below.
(Keep in mind that the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase via those, the website gets a small portion of the sale, which will help greatly in keeping it running).
www.youtube.com/user/Kabexon – Kabeção . Handpan Music
www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmjzvaxB70Y – Giolì
www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQ3Z6Y7Cdl8 – Sam Maher
www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbkiIkXibfI – David Charrier