handpan history, handpan origin and evolution

Welcome to Escapists Musics, where we explore the serene world of relaxing musical instruments. Today, we delve into the captivating origins and history of the handpan, an instrument that enchants with its ethereal sounds and unique design.

Handpan instrument : origin & evolution

The Birth of the Handpan

The handpan was born in the year 2000, a creation attributed to Swiss musicians Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer of PANArt. They were inspired by the steel drum and sought to create an instrument that was played with the hands, rather than sticks. The handpan emerged as a melodious and meditative alternative, quickly gaining popularity among musicians and listeners alike.

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Handpan's Unique Construction

Central to the handpan's allure is its distinctive construction. Made from two half-shells of deep drawn, nitrided steel sheet glued together, it resembles a flying saucer. Each handpan is carefully tuned to emit harmonious sounds. The top ("Ding") side has a center 'note' hammered into it and around this center are several 'tone fields', each meticulously tuned to a different note in a specific scale.

Global Spread and Variations

After its invention, the handpan quickly spread globally. Each maker adds personal touches, resulting in variations like the Hang® Drum by PANArt, which is often mistakenly used to describe all handpan instruments. However, each instrument, depending on its maker, can vary significantly in terms of scale, timbre, and material qualities.

handpan pizza in modern music

Handpan in Modern Music

As handpans have evolved, so has their use in modern music compositions. They are favored in genres ranging from ambient to world music, and are often used in therapeutic and meditative settings due to their soothing tones. Notable musicians and ensembles around the world have embraced the handpan, further cementing its place in contemporary music culture.

Read alsoBest Handpan Stands: Top Picks for Musicians

HTML Table: Evolution of the Handpan

Year Event
2000 Creation of the first handpan by PANArt
2001 Introduction to international audiences
2005 Spread to other parts of Europe and the USA
2010 Diversification in scales and materials
2020 Handpan becomes integral to various music therapy practices
Best handpan instruments for you

Conclusion: The Timeless Appeal of Handpan

The handpan has not only revolutionized the world of musical instruments but has also captured the hearts of many across the globe. Its soothing sound continues to inspire and rejuvenate those who encounter it, making the handpan a cherished addition to the world of music.

FAQs About Handpan

What is the origin of the handpan?

The handpan originated in Switzerland in 2000, created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer of PANArt.

What materials are used to make a handpan?

Handpans are primarily made from nitrided steel, chosen for its durability and acoustic properties.

Can the handpan be used in music therapy?

Yes, due to its calming and soothing sounds, the handpan is widely used in therapeutic and meditative settings.

Are there different types of handpans?

Yes, there are various types of handpans, each differing in scale, timbre, and material, depending on the maker.

How has the handpan influenced modern music?

The handpan has found a place in many genres, particularly in ambient and world music, influencing a wide array of modern musical projects.