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What Country is the Handpan From? A Journey Through the Origins and Evolution of the Handpan

by kan sen 31 May 2024

The handpan, with its ethereal and mesmerizing sound, has captured the hearts of musicians and music enthusiasts around the world. This unique instrument, often associated with a sense of tranquility and spiritual resonance, has an intriguing history that spans continents and cultures.We will delve into the origins of the handpan, tracing its development and exploring how it has become a global phenomenon.

Additionally, we will introduce Cosmos, a trusted global supplier of handpans and tongue drums, highlighting their offerings and contributions to the handpan community.

The Origins of the Handpan

Switzerland: The Birthplace of the Handpan

What Country is the Handpan From

The handpan is a relatively recent invention, originating from Switzerland in the early 21st century. The instrument was first created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer, founders of PANArt, a company known for producing steel drum instruments. In 2000, they introduced the Hang (pronounced "hong") drum, which is widely regarded as the precursor to the modern handpan.

The Hang drum was designed to be played by hand, producing a wide range of harmonious and melodic tones. Its distinctive UFO-like shape and unique sound quickly gained popularity among musicians and enthusiasts. The instrument's name, "Hang," comes from the Bernese German word for "hand," reflecting its hand-played nature.

Influences and Inspirations

What Country is the Handpan From

The creation of the Hang drum was influenced by several traditional instruments from around the world. Notably, the Trinidadian steelpan, the Indian ghatam, and the Indonesian gamelan played significant roles in shaping the Hang's design and sound. The steelpan, in particular, provided inspiration for the tonal layout and material used in the Hang drum's construction.

Evolution into the Handpan

As the Hang drum's popularity grew, so did the demand for similar instruments. PANArt ceased production of the original Hang in 2013, but by then, other makers had begun creating their own versions of the instrument. These new creations, often referred to as "handpans," retained the fundamental design of the Hang but incorporated various modifications and innovations.

Today, the term "handpan" encompasses a wide range of instruments made by different manufacturers. While the Hang drum remains a cherished collector's item, modern handpans have evolved to include different scales, materials, and construction techniques, catering to diverse musical preferences and styles.

Handpans Around the World

The Global Spread of Handpans

Since their inception in Switzerland, handpans have spread across the globe, captivating musicians and audiences with their unique sound. Makers from various countries have contributed to the development and refinement of the instrument, each adding their own touch to the design and acoustics.

Key Countries in Handpan Production

United States

The United States has become a significant hub for handpan manufacturing, with numerous skilled artisans producing high-quality instruments. American handpan makers are known for their innovation and craftsmanship, often experimenting with new scales and tuning methods.


Germany is home to several renowned handpan makers who have gained international recognition for their instruments. German handpans are celebrated for their precision and tonal clarity, making them a popular choice among professional musicians.


France has a vibrant handpan community, with many talented makers producing exceptional instruments. French handpans are known for their artistic designs and rich, resonant tones, appealing to both musicians and collectors.

Other Notable Countries

Handpan makers can also be found in countries such as Italy, Spain, Russia, and Japan, each contributing to the global diversity of the instrument. The international appeal of the handpan continues to grow, with new makers emerging and pushing the boundaries of the instrument's capabilities.

Cosmos: A Trusted Global Supplier of Handpans and Tongue Drums

Introducing Cosmos

Cosmos is a leading global supplier of handpans and tongue drums, dedicated to providing high-quality instruments to musicians and enthusiasts worldwide. With a commitment to craftsmanship and innovation, Cosmos has established itself as a trusted name in the handpan community.

Cosmos Handpan - Midnight Mandarins

Cosmos Handpan - Midnight Mandarins

One of Cosmos' standout products is the Cosmos Handpan - Midnight Mandarins. This exquisite instrument is available with 9, 10, or 12 notes in D Minor, offering a versatile range of tones for various musical expressions.

Features and Benefits:

  • Exceptional Sound Quality: The Midnight Mandarins handpan is meticulously crafted to produce rich, harmonious tones that resonate deeply with listeners.
  • Versatile Note Options: Available with 9, 10, or 12 notes, this handpan caters to different playing styles and musical genres, allowing musicians to explore a wide array of melodies and rhythms.
  • Durable Construction: Made from high-quality materials, the Midnight Mandarins handpan is designed to withstand the rigors of regular use while maintaining its tonal integrity.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: The handpan's sleek design and midnight blue finish make it a visually stunning instrument that stands out on any stage or in any setting.

Tambourine Gift Set

In addition to their handpans, Cosmos also offers a Tambourine Gift Set, perfect for musicians looking to expand their percussion collection. This set includes a high-quality tambourine that complements the handpan's melodic tones, adding rhythmic depth to musical performances.

The Cultural Significance of Handpans

A Symbol of Peace and Unity

Handpans are often associated with themes of peace, unity, and spiritual connection. Their soothing sounds and meditative qualities make them popular instruments for yoga, meditation, and sound healing practices. The global handpan community embraces these values, fostering a sense of togetherness and shared appreciation for the instrument.

Handpans in Music and Art

Handpans have found their place in various musical genres, from classical and jazz to electronic and world music. Artists around the world have incorporated handpans into their compositions, showcasing the instrument's versatility and expressive potential. Handpans are also featured in street performances, concerts, and recording studios, captivating audiences with their enchanting sound.

Educational and Therapeutic Uses

In addition to their musical applications, handpans are used in educational and therapeutic settings. Music therapists and educators utilize handpans to engage students and clients, promoting creativity, relaxation, and emotional well-being. The instrument's intuitive playability and soothing tones make it accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

All in all

The handpan, with its origins in Switzerland, has evolved into a global phenomenon, captivating musicians and audiences with its unique sound and cultural significance. From the creation of the Hang drum by PANArt to the diverse range of handpans available today, this instrument has journeyed across continents, inspiring creativity and connection.

Cosmos, as a trusted global supplier of handpans and tongue drums, continues to contribute to the handpan community by offering high-quality instruments like the Midnight Mandarins handpan. Their commitment to craftsmanship and innovation ensures that musicians and enthusiasts can enjoy the enchanting sound of handpans for years to come.

As the handpan continues to evolve and spread its harmonious tones worldwide, it remains a symbol of peace, unity, and artistic expression, enriching the lives of those who play and listen to its music. Whether you are a seasoned musician or a curious newcomer, exploring the world of handpans is a journey worth taking.

Cosmos Handpan Online Store

The team behind Cosmos Handpan is made up of skilled craftsmen, each with their own unique talents and expertise. They work tirelessly to create instruments that are not only beautiful to look at but also a joy to play. Each handpan is carefully crafted with precision and attention to detail, ensuring that every note is perfectly tuned.
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