handpan history when , where and how?

handpan maker


Handpan history, when, where and how?

Handpan history, when, where and how?

Handpan, Pantam, hang drum or sound-sculpture are the names for a rather young musical instruments family. They are made with steel and are consist of 2 convex steel shells that are glued together. In this article we are going to look at this instrument history and explain some interesting information about it.

When and where was handpan/pantam invented?

The path of hang drum development is a combination of a few historical instruments, some of which are very old and some are more recent. In fact we can call handpan/pantam a global instrument because many countries’ musical culture have been involved in its development journey.The first hang was invented by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer from PANArt Hangbau AG in Bern, Switzerland. The two were steel pan builders and invertor of different musical instruments. In the late 1990’s, Reto Weber, a musician, contacted Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer and explained his idea about a new instrument that is made of steel and looks like a pot with some notes on. He wanted to combine the sound of Ghatam, which is an Indian instrument and the steel pan. The experiment began and they made something which was called “Mother Hang”. The word “HANG” came from Bernese German word for Hand. The output was surprisingly good so Felix and his colleague stopped making steel pans and started focusing on creating the First generation of handpans which was originally called HANG (between 2001 to 2005). They presented the very first instrument at Frankfurt and it became viral later on 2005 when people found some playing videos of it on YouTube. 

The HANG was being offered in approximately 45 different scales and sound models, which were focused mostly on ethnic musical scales like Ake bono, Hijaz, Pygmy, Melog and Zhi Diao.  The first generation Hangs had 7 to 8 tone fields on a circle around a center note being tuned only on F3, E3 and Eb 3. Later on some new generations with many changes were release up until 2013 when PANArt announced that the Hang would no longer be made.

As of then, many makers around the world started creating these musical instruments with the same concept but some changes and called them Handpan, Pantam or sound-sculpture.

The way the invention of this musical instrument influenced the world of the music enthusiast was so astounding and the market faced a big volume of demand in the years right after PANArt stopped making them. The first makers received so many requests in a way they also had to stop getting more orders and will be making the requested line of orders for many years after. Since then, the number of the makers are increasing everyday all around the world responding to the demand for this magical instrument globally.

Kita also, as one of the first makers in this region, started making Handpans since 2017 and has showed continuous growth in terms of quality and manufacturing capability since then.

Handpan history

If you are thinking to join the club and start this wonderful journey of learning and playing Pantams together with this raising number of enthusiasts all around the world, KitaPantam is ready to offer what you deserve, world class quality Handpans with fair prices and rather short waiting time. For more information please visit our available instruments page or send us an inquiry on the Order page. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, you may contact us via the contact form below or send us an email to [email protected].


Stay tuned😊