So below, we’ll be exploring the various options for acquiring, and placing a Hang drum (or similar instrument) into your lap (read on).
* Please note that some ‘fans’of the ‘instrument’ in question (including the makers) take deep offence to the attached ‘drum’ moniker (and even referring to it as an ‘instrument’ can cause upset in certain circles). Preferring the ‘Sound sculpture’ (as they would have it called), simply to go by the name of ‘Hang’ (or ‘PANArt Hang’) - but seeing as the drum tag is so widely used online, we’ll continue to use it within this page for the sake of ease of search, via Google, and other search engines.
The official route to buying a Hang:
While in the past it was possible to buy a Hang drum from a handful of music shops, and at festivals, etc. Since the massive increase in demand for the Hang drum, fueled by the viral nature of the Internet, and YouTube videos, there is currently only one official route to buying a Hang drum directly from those who make them (PANArt). And that is to write a hand-written letter (request/application) to the following address.
PANArt Hangbau AG
As far as is known, there is no magic formula* as to what to write to guarantee the successful acquisition of a Hang drum from PANArt. With general advice being to ‘write from the heart’, cross your fingers, hope, and wait.
*Though bearing in mind the dislike that PANArt feel for the attached ‘drum’ moniker, refraining from referring to the Hang as a ‘Hang drum’ in your letter is certainly advised.
It has been stated that PANArt do not operate a waiting list in the standard sense, but instead offer their creations as, and when available, to those with which they feel a certain 'resonance'.
Each 'sculpture' is hand-crafted, and at the time of writing (2012) Hang drum bought directly from PANArt cost around: 2000€ ($2600).
Alternative Routes to Buying a Hang drum - eBay:
At the time of writing, roughly 1-2 Hang appear for sale on ebay each month (globally). However, compared to the price that PANArt charge for Hang direct, due to their rarity, and demand, Hang sold on ebay are considerably more expensive (you can usually find any Hang currently for sale on ebay listed: HERE).
At the time of writing the average Hang sold on ebay.com sells for around $7000-$8000. Though a good number of Hang have sold for $10,000+
Craigslist, Gumtree, Classifieds Sites, etc.
Hang drum offered for sale on sites like Craigslist, and similar, can be fairly numerous. However, 99.9% of Hang drum offered for sale via sites like these are scams. Only consider this route should you find one listed locally, and are able to check it out in person, before considering purchase.
Alternatives to the Hang drum for sale:
With demand far exceeding supply with regards to Hang drum, other ‘Hang-inspired’ instruments have appeared in their wake. These range from the almost equally sought after ‘Halo’, from ‘Pantheon Steel’, through to less sought after imitations, that reflect the quality of the Hang drum more in image, than in sound.
*The name given to the entire ‘genus’ of Hang-inspired instruments as a whole is ‘HandPan’, sometimes (though less commonly) also called "Pantam", or "Disco Armonico".
Further resources for finding Hang drum for sale:
Further resources for finding Hang drum for sale:
[Update] October 2013, PANArt announced that they will no longer be making ANY Hang. They will however now be offering their new (and relatively speaking, similar) instrument for sale, named the 'Gubal'. Watch a video of the new PANArt Gubal below.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Are Hang Drum?
Who Makes the Hang Drum?
The Hang drum is made by the company named, 'PANArt'. PANArt consists primarily of "Felix Rohner', and 'Sabina Scharer'.
What are Hang Drum Made of?
Hang are made of steel, like the traditonal steel pan / steel drum born of Trinidad and Tobago that at least partly paved the way for the invention of the Hang. Specifically Hang are made from a nitrided steel that PANArt, the Hang makers, refer to as ‘PANG’.
What Does a Hang Drum Cost?
As with most things the price of the Hang drum rises year by year, and prices for Hang sold on the secondhand market tend to be significantly higher than those bought directly from PANArt (due to the limited number PANArt are able to produce each year, and the mechanism through which they offer Hang for sale). At time of writing (2012), the price of a Hang bought directly from PANArt, was roughly $2600.
Why are Hang Drum so Expensive?
The relatively high cost of a Hang drum is partially due to the limited number of Hang the two makers are able to produce within any given time period, thus creating more demand, than supply. And partially due to the costs involved in the creation of a Hang, such as the raw materials, the heat treatments involved, and the labor/time intensive nature of producing each individual Hang by hand.
When was the Hang Drum Invented?
The Hang was invented in the year 2000, in the city of Berne, found in Switzerland. The Hang was invented by the company named 'PANArt', comprised primarily of Felix Rohner, and Sabina Scharer. The idea for the Hang however came shortly before, dreampt up by one, 'Reto Weber', who yearned for an instrument that possessed the sound of PANAts earlier range of steel instruments known as the 'PANG Instruments', but that could be played in the style more common to hand drums.
How Does a Hang Drum Work?
While the Hang is in many ways more than a one trick pony, as an Idiophone, the sound of the Hang is created by the instrument vibrating when struck. Idiophone are classified as instruments that create sound by vibrating, without the use of strings, or membranes.
What's Inside a Hang Drum?
Due to the incredibly full sound of the Hang drum, and it’s simple look that people often refer to as resembling a Webber grill, or a garbage can lid, often, people suspect that there might be something inside the Hang, that is responsible for the magic that they’re hearing. But the truth is that there is nothing inside the Hang. And in fact it is this absence of anything going on inside that is at least partly responsible for the Hangs ethereal sound - with the internal cavity acting as a resonating chamber, that adds to the dreamy, echo’ey, nature of the Hang drums voice.
How Are Hang Drums Made?
While it could be said that like the KFCs Colonel, PANArt have their own secret recipe, the building of a Hang has similarities to the traditional steel pan. The steel is shaped, and hammered in a very precise way, producing tone fields within the Hangs shell, that are responsible for the different notes of a scale, that the Hang is able to produce. Differences between the Hang, and traditional steel pan, that help to produce the Hangs famous sound, include the resonating chamber that makes up the underside of the Hang, and the dimples within the tone fields, which help to contain certain aspects of the steel pans sound, that are considered undesirable to fans of the PANArt Hang.
How Can I Make a Hang Drum?
With the Hang being a handmade instrument, usually formed and tuned with a hammer, by hand. First you need to appreciate that building a Hang (or Hang-inspired instrument - more commonly known as 'HandPan'), is no easy task...
With that said, new makers are now popping up all the time (of varying quality), so it's certainly possible to build your own, with dedication, and persistence. At the time of writing there is nothing to be found online in the way of a complete guide, but the resources linked to here may aid you in your attempts.