Discover handpan : design, advantages and tips to choose

Discover the enchanting world of handpan instruments, a relatively new addition to the musical landscape that has quickly captured the hearts of musicians and listeners alike. Originating in the early 2000s, these instruments are known for their distinct, mellow, and resonant sound that can transport anyone to a state of serene contemplation.

Playing handpan

The Origins and Evolution of Handpan

The handpan's history begins in Switzerland, with the creation of the Hang by PANArt. Its unique shape and sound are derived from the steel drum and art of metalworking. Since its inception, the handpan has evolved with numerous makers around the world adding their personal touch to the instruments. The evolution of handpan has led to a diverse range of scales and sounds, making each instrument truly unique.

Understanding the Handpan's Unique Design

A typical handpan consists of two metal half-shells welded together. It features a central note surrounded by a circle of at least seven to nine tone fields. This design not only creates a distinct aesthetic, but also contributes to the unique sound characteristics of the handpan. The material used, generally steel or nitrided steel, affects the tone, durability, and maintenance requirements of the instrument.

Read alsoBeginner's Guide to Playing the Handpan

The Art of Playing the Handpan

Playing the handpan is an intuitive experience that requires a gentle touch. The musician taps on the tone fields with their hands to produce sound. This playing technique allows a wide range of expressions and dynamics, from soft, haunting melodies to more rhythmic, upbeat compositions. The simplicity of playing makes the handpan a favorite among novices and experienced musicians alike.

Benefits for playing handpan

Therapeutic Benefits of Handpan Music

Handpan music is not only beautiful, but also has therapeutic benefits. The soothing tones can help reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and even aid in meditation and mindfulness practices. Its sounds encourage a deep state of relaxation, making it a perfect companion for yoga sessions or therapeutic settings.

Read alsoDiscover the Magic of Handpan Music

A Guide to Choosing Your Handpan

Feature Description Consideration
Scale The musical scale of the handpan Choose a scale that resonates with your personal taste and the style of music you wish to play.
Material Type of metal used Consider the tone and maintenance needs based on the material (steel vs. nitrided steel).
Size Diameter and depth of the handpan Larger instruments offer deeper resonance but may be more cumbersome to transport.
Maker Reputation and location of the maker Research and select a maker with a good reputation to ensure quality and support.

Choose a right handpan


The unique sound of the handpan makes it an extraordinary instrument that appeals to a wide audience. Its captivating tones and easy playing style offer a refreshing alternative to traditional musical instruments. Whether you are a musician looking to explore new sounds or simply seeking a soothing sonic experience, the handpan is a compelling choice.


What is a handpan?

A handpan is a musical instrument made from two half-shells of deep drawn, nitrided steel sheet and hollow inside. It has a distinct UFO shape and is played with the hands.

How is the handpan played?

The handpan is played by tapping the fingers and hands on different areas of the instrument to produce sounds, allowing for a wide range of expressions.

What are the benefits of handpan music?

Handpan music offers therapeutic benefits including stress reduction, enhanced relaxation, and support for meditation and mindfulness.

How do I choose a handpan?

When choosing a handpan, consider the scale, material, size, and the reputation of the maker. These factors will influence the sound and playability of the instrument.

Can beginners play the handpan?

Yes, the handpan is suitable for players of all skill levels, including beginners. Its simple playing technique makes it accessible to everyone.