• Joan Rothchild Hardin

The Hang and Hand Pan


If you’ve never had a chance to experience the hypnotic, meditative sounds of a hang or hand pan, this may be a revelation – possibly life-changing.

Here’s an example, one of my favorites: Daniel Waples – Solo Hang Drum in a London Tunnel

The original steel Hang instrument was invented in 2000 by two Swiss musicians in Bern, Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer (aka PANArt) who were inspired by the traditional steel pans of the Caribbean islands. They spent years researching how to achieve the sound they wanted their new instrument to have and introduced a first generation of it at the Musikmesse Frankfurt in 2001.

Hangs make use of the basic physical principles of a steel drum or pan, modified to act as a Helmholtz resonator. Rohner and Schärer made several generations of Hangs before stopping production in December 2013.

“Helmholtz resonance is the phenomenon of air resonance in a cavity, such as when one blows across the top of an empty bottle. The name comes from a device created in the 1850s by Hermann von Helmholtz, the “Helmholtz resonator”, which he used to identify the various frequencies or musical pitches present in music and other complex sounds.” (Wikipedia, 3/9/2016) Helmholtz Resonance