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The handpan can be defined as a percussion instrument made of steel that has the ability to produce harmonic sounds, enchanting its entire audience. It is, in itself, an extraordinary, splendid, formidable, and magical instrument.

But beyond all these qualifiers and its various denominations, the handpan has a history and a past as interesting as it is captivating.

Let's explore together the secrets of the hand drum and its illustrious journey.

Also worth reading: What is the difference between a Handpan & a Tongue Drum ?

1. The Hang drum is both a traditional and contemporary instrument

The primary power of the steel handpan lies in its adept ability to seamlessly bridge the traditional and modern worlds. It is a hand-played instrument whose learning has been passed down from generation to generation.

In other words, the way it is played has not undergone significant changes over the years. Yet, it continues to produce melodious, crystalline, and highly original sounds.

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Moreover, the great peculiarity of its sounds is their pleasing quality to the ear. Despite all the history it holds, the hang drum has managed to adapt very easily to the present era.

It has traversed several civilizations and is filled with many stories.

Apart from its sonic peculiarities, the hand drum owes part of its fame to the wonderful stories associated with it. This grants it a cultural grandeur and a very important place in history.

It is not merely a musical instrument, but also an expression of veneration for musical art. Its creators spent years working on artisanal instruments and metal alloys to achieve this fantastic tool.

It perfectly adapts to the present century and conforms to individual needs.

The hang musical instrument is considered a relatively recent musical instrument, as its conception dates back to just 2001. Based on this, it is relatively young, unlike other instruments of its kind.

Its originality stems from the fact that it draws its source from a fusion of sounds from the ancient Indian drum and Caribbean percussion. One of the reasons it offers such good tonality is that the two instruments from which it draws its sources are highly esteemed by practitioners of artisanal music.

Visit the Zena-Drum online store and find the perfect instrument for you today !

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2. The Handpan is the result of an impressive technological mechanism

The second thing you may not be aware of is that the handpan was born after several years of research and hard work by its creators. It symbolizes their taste for innovation, but also the arduous work of several generations of craftsmen.

Indeed, the most seasoned manufacturers often have a great expertise in steelpan design. They then rely on their previous dominations to develop hang drums with a completely streamlined design.

The sense of innovation that manufacturers have demonstrated over several years of design has led to a variety of hang drum indtrument styles today. The design process involves a process akin to steelwork.

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But steel is obviously not the only material, and this is what highlights the notion of style. Nowadays, you will encounter numerous styles of hang drum around the world. There is the American style, the Swiss style, or even the German style.

By taking a closer look at the Swiss style, you will realize that it is quite original. It is a model established in the 2000s by Felix Rohner and is made from nitrided steel.

Subsequently, some handpan manufacturers began producing them in stainless steel. The instrument has the peculiarity of having a sound that is not only soft but also ethereal.

To learn more and if possible acquire one, you can follow the handpan or hang drum.

3. The Handpan has wonderful sound properties

The hang drum is multi-note, enabling it to produce a fabulous blend of sounds that amaze audiences. Designed to be noticeable to the touch, it is the result of a relatively complex manufacturing process. Similarly, the tuning techniques used are quite ingenious.

a. Better sound, thanks to steel

The steel used in hang drum design is a real asset. In most cases, designers use a nitrided steel alloy. In doing so, they have little chance of making manufacturing errors, as the metal is easier to modulate.

See for yourself the wonderful sound of the handpan

In other words, the stainless steel alloy is easier to work with, making it possible to get every note just right. By opting for this material, the handpan is given the opportunity to offer a completely different and distinctive sound.

b. Hang drum scales

You have the choice between several scales, allowing you to experience different emotions and diversify your creativity. It is up to each individual to control and choose the scale that best suits their ears.

As with all other musical instruments, you have the possibility of having both melancholic and joyful melodies. The great players even manage to achieve mysterious and hypnotic melodies after intense training.

This great variability of emotions gives it recognition among all its audience. If you desire a sober and easy-to-handle handpan in D minor, we recommend the 10-notes black handpan.

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4. Hang drum is an international success

Another thing you probably don't know is the global success of the handpan. This success is mainly linked to its properties, which could be described as loud but orderly and pleasant. Simply put, the success of the steel hang drum instrument has exceeded all expectations.

Singers from all corners of the world now wish to have their own instruments, provided they are authentic and original.

In recent decades, the instrument has gained international recognition, thanks to the various wonders it reflects. Apart from musicians, there are millions of admirers.

Even if they don't have the opportunity to play it, people love to listen to it and immerse themselves in its melody. The instrument of Swiss origin has sparked communities of passionate people around the world.

5. The Handpan: an instrument that's easy to learn and handle

The Handpan instrument is a musical instrument that may seem complicated at first, but remember that it is very easy to learn. Although it is new to the musical world, it has had no real difficulties in ranking among the great musical instruments such as the guitar and the piano.

It is mostly practiced by fans who are seeking new experiences. The main advantage the instrument offers to its new players is that it does not require a foundation to learn, making it accessible to a wide majority.

For your first times, don't be rushed, and perform fairly simple movements. Get used to the wrist twist and practice until the movement is smooth. Have no fear, Zena-Drum is here to guide you through its high-quality hang drums.

Whether you are a beginner or intermediate, there are pantam models suited to your level. The advantage is that you don't have to wait for months in a queue like with other manufacturers.

By reading our article on the 5 best D minor handpans, you will have an easier time making a choice based on your profile.

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6. Features: Modern handpan vs. traditional Hang

Feature Modern Handpan Traditional Hang
Origin Developed in the 2000s Created in 2001 by PANArt
Materials Nitrided steel, stainless steel Steel specially treated by PANArt
Sound Crystal-clear sound, wide tonal scale Warm, deep sound, unique resonance
Variety of scales Numerous, adapted to various musical genres Limited, often based on pentatonic scales
Accessibility More widely available Less accessible, limited production
Price Varies widely; sometimes more affordable Generally more expensive, due to its rarity


Explore the enchantment of the traditional handpan on Zena-Drum. We showcase authentic versions of the steel hang drum at unmatched prices. Each instrument is meticulously crafted to capture the essence and unique characteristics of the handpan, and beyond. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to own a piece of musical history – visit Zena-Drum today to find your perfect sound.


The handpan drum is a musical treasure offering more than mere melodies. From its ability to promote well-being through soothing frequencies, to the richness of its scale enabling boundless creative expression, every steelpan, whether original or an authentic Swiss hang drum, carries a unique story.

Delving into the realm of the hung drum opens doors to a transformative experience, whether through purchasing a new instrument or discovering a pre-owned handpan.


1. What are some interesting facts about the handpan?

The handpan originated in Switzerland in the early 2000s. It's a steel percussion instrument with a unique resonating sound. Each handpan is handcrafted, producing different notes when struck. Its popularity surged globally due to its soothing tones and portability.

2. What makes a good handpan ?

A good handpan exhibits balanced tones across its scale, with clear sustain and resonance. Craftsmanship is crucial, ensuring precise tuning and durable construction. Quality steel and skilled craftsmanship contribute to a handpan's longevity and rich sound.

3. What are the benefits of handpan ?

Playing the handpan promotes relaxation, stress relief, and mindfulness. Its harmonious tones induce a meditative state, aiding in emotional expression and creativity. Portable and versatile, the handpan offers therapeutic benefits and fosters musical exploration and connection.

4. What is the Handpan theory ?

The Handpan theory encompasses its unique design, construction, and playing techniques. It involves understanding the instrument's scale, tonal layout, and harmonic relationships. Mastery of handpan theory enhances players' ability to create captivating melodies and explore diverse musical styles.