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The Hang - The Musical Flying Saucer

Created in 2000, the Hang (pronounced "hung") is one of the younger musical instruments. It comes from Bern, Switzerland, and was created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer OF THE PANArt Company. It was the result of many years of research on the steel pan and many other resonating percussion instruments from around the world: Gong, Gamelan, Ghatam, drums, cowbells, MUSICAL Saw...

There are many Hang models with various MODES proposed by PANArt. However, since each Hang is tuned individually, you are encouraged - if so inspired - to design your own "tone circle". Thus you participate in the creation of an instrument that best meets your own creative needs. The PANArt firm through its various regional representatives can help you in this project.

In the Bernese language, Hang refers to the human hand, as in "hand-drum." This percussion instrument is comprised of two metal hemispheres bonded together: the DING side and the GU side.
The DING side CONTAINS 8 tone fields which together form the "tone circle" (scale or mode). This circle surrounds a central dome, called the DING (which sounds like a Gong).
On the GU side, there is a hand size hole (called the GU) for sound resonance. The GU can be played like an udu, or used to modulate the sound of the DING.


GU Side

There are many ways to invite the Hang to sound: with fingertips, thumbs, and the heel of the palm - and a mix of all three. Most of the time, the Hang sits on the player's knees, but you also could play it on a drum stand. Players can let their hands and their feelings discover how to play. Indeed, there are no rules for playing except one: the joy of music!

The Hang makes friends quickly. In my experience, people remember it as a fantastic instrument with a fabulous tone from the first time they encounter it, and musicians are intrigued by it as soon as they touch it. The Hang is on its way to centre stage.

© 2005 - Gidda / Didgeridoo & Co Magazine

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