Fruits Of Experimentation – The Hang Drum History


If you are someone who likes exploring different kinds of music, you might have come across videos of musicians playing a weird-looking drum which emits a resonating sound. If you notice, their videos are relatively new. And the music that emanates from the instrument is wildly pleasing to the ear!

The instrument is known by a couple of names – hang, hand pan, hang drum or hang instrument. The technical term is ‘hang;’ the other names have just stuck on. When the where was this instrument built? What makes it so soothing? What is the story behind the hang drum history? Let us find out.

What is the hang instrument?

The term refers to a relatively new instrument that is made by sticking two sheets of steel in the convex position. You play it by hand. Let us see what the idea was, behind the creation of this instrument.

The history

Felix Rohner and Sabina Scharer are the people behind the invention of the hang instrument. Both were steel pan builders by profession. The musical instrument was born as a result of an attempt to blend the sounds of the Trinidad steel drum and the South Indian Ghatam. After a series of attempts to better the sounds, they created the Hang in 2000.

As more people watched videos of top musicians playing the Hang in YouTube videos, its popularity skyrocketed. Its architecture is different from the traditional steel pan. It led to the instrument producing a distinct yet calming tone that you cannot get in any other musical instrument.

Today, there are very few people who make the instrument. The inventors of the instrument founded PanArt which makes and sells the Hang instrument.

‘Hang’ is a registered trademark and refers exclusively to the instrument PanArt, makes and sells the Hang instrument. You should write a handwritten letter to PanArt to get your hands on the Hang. It could take several weeks or months before you get your instrument! If you cannot afford to wait for that long, you can order yours from one of the other few companies that make hand pans.

The fact that there are very few manufacturers at present could be the reason behind its high price.

The term – Hang

In Bernese German dialect, the word Hang means hand. It was named so as it played by hand. The plural form is Hanghang.

While several musicians around the world now have a new favourite toy, the hang drum can be used for meditation too. Its sound has a calming effect on the mind and the body.


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