Music and musical instruments have come a long way from ancient to modern times. With the use of technology today, so many different types of musical instruments are available in the market. However, the fundamental aspect is the same.
One such instrument is the Handpan Drum, which has a very traditional look but is a beautiful instrument that creates a lovely sound.
Like you, many wonder how this relatively unimpressive-looking instrument produces such rich sound. Well, this article is just for them.
The handpan drums are comparatively a new member of the percussion family. Several musicians use it today to add a different level to music with its hypnotic yet unique sound.
The handpan drums produce rich sounds. Its ability largely depends on its design and build.
These specific types of drums are available in different sizes and shapes. In addition to that, these instruments also come with different tunings.
A Handpan Drum is typically metallic and looks like a dome. These domes produce clear ambient and smooth tones.
Typically, it is its design that gives these particular drums different names. Many call it pantam, hang, or UFO drum.
The Working Process
Technically, a handpan drum is an idiophone that produces sound mainly due to its vibrations. It has nothing to do with:
- Membranes or
- Forced air.
You will usually need to play these drums with both hands to create the vibration inside.
The working principle of the Handpan Drum is the same as the working principle of:
- Cymbals and others that fall into their category.
It also resembles the working principle of specific types of mallet instruments, such as marimbas and xylophones.
Regardless of slight variance in design, in a Handpan Drum, typically there are two halves of steel. These are convex in shape and are fixed together. It looks like a flying saucer and hence got its name, UFO Drum.
The upper part, or the Ding, is the central dome of the handpan drum, and it creates the bass note or root note.
In the lower dome or the Gu, there is an opening. This creates a resonance to eventually produce the traditional long and warm tones of a handpan drum.
A handpan drum creates different notes due to the circular arrangement of the indents on the upper dome. There are at least seven of them to represent seven notes of music.
The scale of these indents on Ding can be different, from major to minor or harmonic minor to others.
The setup of the indents allows a beginner to improvise while playing freely and very quickly. Considering the harmonic perspective, there cannot be any wrong notes.
So, if you want to play a handpan drum, do not hesitate. It is easy to create rich harmonics and mallet-like sounds of different tones, depending on the part of the hand you are using and where on the surface you are striking.