Exploring the Enchanting World of Handpans and Hang Drums

In the realm of musical instruments, few can match the captivating and ethereal sounds produced by handpans and hang drums. These mesmerizing percussion instruments have gained worldwide popularity for their unique tones and soothing melodies. Join us on a journey to explore the world of handpans and hang drums, also known as handpan drums, hang instruments, and handpan instruments.

What Is a Handpan?

A handpan, often referred to as a handpan drum, is a relatively modern percussion instrument created in the early 21st century. It is a variation of the steelpan and hang drum. Handpans are known for their distinctive shape, featuring a convex top with a series of tone fields that create melodious notes when struck. These notes are meticulously tuned to create harmonious and meditative soundscapes.

The Origin of the Hang Drum

The hang drum, also known simply as the hang, is the precursor to the handpan. It was invented in the year 2000 by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer of PANArt, a Swiss company. The hang drum, like the handpan, produces enchanting sounds through a similar design, with tuned tone fields on its surface.

Handpans vs. Hang Drums

While handpans and hang drums share many similarities, they also have distinct characteristics. Handpans are often more varied in their scale options, offering a wide range of melodic possibilities. Hang drums, on the other hand, have a more limited scale variety and are typically no longer in production, making them rare and highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.

Playing Techniques

Playing both handpans and hang drums involves striking the tone fields with the hands to create melodious notes. The gentle touch required to produce their enchanting sounds makes them accessible to both novice and experienced musicians. The unique tonal qualities of these instruments lend themselves well to various musical genres, including world music, ambient, and meditation music.

Where to Find Handpans and Hang Drums

If you're enchanted by the sound of handpans and hang drums and want to add one to your musical collection, you have several options:

  1. Reputable Makers: Numerous skilled artisans and makers produce handpans and hang drums. Look for reputable makers who have established a positive reputation in the handpan community.

  2. Specialized Retailers: Some music stores and online retailers offer handpans and hang drums. Ensure that you choose a trusted retailer with a track record of selling high-quality instruments.

  3. Secondhand Markets: Consider exploring secondhand markets on websites like Handpan.org or through dedicated Facebook groups for handpan enthusiasts. Used instruments can be an excellent way to enter the world of handpans and hang drums at a more affordable price.


Handpans and hang drums are more than just musical instruments; they are gateways to transcendent and meditative musical experiences. Whether you're a seasoned musician or a newcomer to the world of percussion, these instruments offer a unique and enchanting journey into the world of music. So, explore the enchanting world of handpans and hang drums, and let their mesmerizing tones transport you to new musical horizons.

As you embark on your quest to acquire a handpan or hang drum, remember to seek out reputable makers, trusted retailers, or secondhand opportunities that align with your musical aspirations.