HANDPAN DRUM

6 Handpans You Should Know in 2023

The handpan is a musical instrument which was invented 21 years in the past. However likelihood is, you’re solely discovering out now! Don’t be concerned, you are not alone. Consider it or not, the handpan remains to be largely unknown to the general public…

Since 2006, I’ve been delving into this new artwork type and fascinating with its rising neighborhood of gamers and makers throughout the globe. If you’re on the lookout for steerage about handpans, the knowledge under may be starting-point.

Listed below are 6 handpans I feel it is best to learn about! They are a few of the greatest handpans on the market (and they’re my private favorites). Oh, and in order for you your individual handpan, take a look at handpans out there within the retailer!

The Unique PANArt Grasp from Switzerland

The Grasp by PANArt (typically known as “cling drum”) was the primary instrument of its sort. The inventors, Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer, have been metal pan makers earlier than producing the Grasp. PANArt got here up with the lenticular form of the instrument and numerous key options together with the inward dome within the heart of every tone discipline. These advances allowed the Swiss staff to raised management the persona of every notice and of its octave and compound fifth overtones. This largely contributes to the wealthy layered sound of the instrument. In addition they developed their very own particular recipe for nitrided metal, a fabric they name Pang which supplies the Grasp a ceramic timbre and a springy really feel to the hand—whereas additionally defending it from corrosion.

That is how the Grasp got here to be. In the future, a Swiss percussionist named Reto Weber visited the Swiss workshop and prompt the Hangmakers construct an “inside-out metal drum” which might be performed by hand… The thought of the Grasp was born.

Over time, the brand new Grasp sound sculpture went by means of a number of iterations referred to as Grasp “generations”. Between 2000 and 2004, the primary technology was offered by means of a community of worldwide distributors and out there in additional than 45 musical scales. Consumers of a second-generation Grasp would wish to journey to Bern, Switzerland to buy the instrument by appointment solely. Ultimately, the one and solely scale out there turned the Integral Grasp, later tuned solely by ear, the Free Integral Grasp. It’s estimated that PANArt constructed 10,000 Grasp sound sculptures earlier than they stopped the manufacturing of the instrument in 2013.

I bought to interview Ron Kravitz who was the only real Grasp distributor in the USA (2002-05) after which certainly one of solely two worldwide distributors (2005-07). Take heed to Ron share untold Grasp tales and divulges secrets and techniques from the previous on The handpan Podcast. A must-listen for any old-timer, Grasp-lover or anybody attempting to make sense of PANArt’s place in the direction of the handpan neighborhood.

The successor of the Grasp was the Gubal. An entire new expertise. If the Grasp is uplifting and ethereal, then the Gubal is earthy and grounding. It encompasses a deep bass which is the heartbeat of a brand new sort of groove.


I used to be extremely fortunate to get my Grasp again in 2007 (learn the total story right here) and I had the chance to fulfill the inventors Felix and Sabina on a number of events in Bern, Switzerland.

The Halo handpan of Pantheon Metal from Missouri


Kyle Cox and the late Jim Dusin are the co-founders of Pantheon Metal and the makers of the Halo handpan.

Kyle and Jill complimented one another effectively. Kyle got here from a musical background, tuning metal pans, and Jim was an industrial engineer. Via the Halo and its neighborhood, Kyle and Jim really launched the handpan period.

Whereas fewer and fewer Hangs have been made, Pantheon Metal was ramping up its manufacturing. And because the solely handpan out there in North America, the Halo loved an amazing following. Pantheon Metal’s instrument was bigger (23″ as an alternative of 20″), lower-pitched (B2 as an alternative of D3) and made in a completely totally different approach than the Grasp.

What’s extra, Kyle was concerned locally and actively collaborating to many handpan gatherings and sharing data about tuning. Lots of as we speak’s handpan makers have been as soon as Halo gamers. Kyle Cox is undoubtedly the second most influential character throughout the handpan story, after the originators Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer.

Take heed to my dialog with Kyle Cox of Pantheon Metal for the 10-year anniversary of the Halo handpan.


It was within the spring of 2013 at Handpangea, a handpan gathering in North Carolina, that I first met Mark Garner and performed one of many first Saraz handpan prototypes that was passing round through the occasion.

Saraz handpans continued getting higher and higher and Mark turned a key member of the rising international handpan neighborhood. I’ve had the possibility to go to the Saraz workshop—you possibly can learn the story right here—and I can not say sufficient good issues about Mark and his staff.

One factor I heard loads through the years was how the Saraz staff took notes of all the pieces. It was clear Mark had discovered loads by means of trial and error. So I interviewed him on The handpan Podcast to speak concerning the Enchanting Science of Handpans. It is a captivating dialog concerning the hidden patterns and the unseen constructions of the instrument, going all the way in which again to the roots of the metal pan. A reintegration of each contemplation and delight of handpans.

For a number of years, Mark was joined by my good buddy Josh Rivera who has since launched his handpan tuning firm known as Rivera Metal Tuning and his personal line of devices. You may be taught extra about every challenge of their respective podcast episodes.

The Boreal handpan from Montreal, Quebec

I feel I’ve obtained extra feedback about my previous C# Celtic Minor Boreal handpan than some other handpan I’ve owned. Attending to know the maker Jocsan Riviera was incredible. He does all components of the making course of himself and even tunes by ear. A reminder that the handpan is greater than a “commodity”, a “market” or an “trade”… It’s an artwork type with all its nuances and knowledge. And it makes it all of the extra significant to play on such distinctive devices!

The Iskra of Symphonic Metal from California

Sean Beever of Symphonic Metal makes a handpan known as the ISKRA sound sculpture (and you’ll purchase it proper right here on this web site).

He makes use of the identical supplies and tuning methods as PANArt did. The result’s a singular timbre that takes you all the way in which again to the early years of the Grasp. I’ve to say that Sean’s ISKRA handpan is especially refreshing as a result of it is a return to the fundamentals. It is a easy however intentional design whose success—as seen by means of the Grasp—is assured.

The Æther (CFoulke) of Colin Foulke from California

Colin Foulke first bought into handpans across the time Pantheon Metal launched the Halo. Being classically educated on the cello, he shortly picked up handpans and developed a ardour that turned contagious. By connecting with different gamers on-line and attending in-person handpan gatherings, Colin turned a central participant locally. He was additionally the primary to develop handpan tutorials, with David Kuckhermann.

On the Handpangea gathering in 2013, Colin unveiled metal pans he had been secretly engaged on. A pair years later at one other gathering known as Pantasia, he would reveal his personal line of handpans—first known as CFoulke, then rebranded Æther.

Colin later launched a way known as hydroforming which is made open-source. This helped within the fabrication course of of creating handpans, utilizing water strain to type the bowl of every handpan shell. This alleviates probably the most physically-challenging step of the entire course of, historically requiring hours of hand-hammering.

His contribution, supplied freely, attests to his generosity and benevolence throughout the handpan artwork type. I lately visited Colin Foulke as a part of The handpan Podcast and recorded a two-parter sequence with him which you’ll be able to hear under.

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