What is a handpan?
Handpans are a unique instrument, invented in the early years of 2007. They originated in the US and were produced by the company Pantheon Steel, who was previously known for the creation of the hang drum, developed in the year 2000. During the first five years of the handpan’s development, unique innovations and changes were made to them throughout Europe in the countries of Germany, Spain, and France, each adding their own unique features and adaptations.
The handpan itself is designed to be played in a similar way as the drum. It is played by using your hands to play keys on the pan itself, each time producing a unique sound depending on where you hit the pan and the way in which you do so. Over the past decade, A unique group of musicians has learned how to effectively use the handpan to produce sounds and the melodies of songs that would usually be played by a more classical instrument such as the violin or piano.
In the world today, it is estimated that there are around 300 producers of the handpan. Each one is designed from scratch, using only the highest quality steels to produce the instrument. The steel is placed under intense heat, in which it is uniquely molded and modified to produce the shapes that we can see on each handpan. Each shape defines the way in which the pan sounds and so each pan will be slightly unique from any other one on the market. Due to the scarcity of the pans in the world, they have developed tremendous value. Some of the highest quality pans have been known to sell for over $8000 and in the last year alone many have been sold for over $10,000.
These instruments have developed a name for both their quality and uniqueness and as a result, have been kept almost as a collector’s piece. Collectors have sprung up in locations all around the globe from the US to Asia, paying a premium price for a chance of owning such a unique instrument.
So, what exactly makes the handpan so unique? With the handpan being such a new and somewhat relatively unknown instrument, it has developed its very own niche market. Within this market, people understand both the quality of the metal used as well as the craftsmanship involved in developing such an instrument. Due to the time and skill that it takes to produce a single handpan, people are willing to pay such a high price for them.
However, knock off pans have sprung up in countries such as China, which is damaging the market. They are being produced with cheap metals that not only deteriorate the quality of the instrument but also damage the sounds they produce. Such pans are being sold online at around $60 a pan, with users being tricked into believing that they are original instruments, and have been created by one of the top craftsmen. Like when you buy an instrument, it will soon become obvious to the buyer that the cheap option was not the best way to go, and they have simply purchased a poor-quality piece of metal- something we would not advise!
If the thought of owning one of these exquisite instruments interests you then please check out our website for the chance to get your very own! Let us know what you think of the instrument and whether or not you would be interested in one! We look forward to hearing from you!
We have two different scales:
This A scale has the following progression: A, C, D, Bb, G, E, D, F, A
This G scale has the following progression: G, Eb, D, F#, A, C, D, Bb, G