The handpan is a diatonic musical instrument. That is to say that it does not have all the notes of the chromatic scale unlike the piano, the guitar or the violin. A handpan only has 8 or 9 notes. But this limited number of notes is far from being a handicap. On the contrary, it is the simplicity of the handpan that makes it a remarkable instrument, easy to approach and pleasant to listen to. But what are the ranges of handpan that exist ? Check it out here.
The major and minor handpan scales
There are two main ranges of handpans. You can choose a handpan for sale here. For scales, we have majors and minors. The major scales have a rather cheerful air. So it's particularly nice to have a handpan in a major scale because it puts everyone in a good mood. Just play a few notes after a long day of work and you immediately feel soothed.
But for a melancholy performer who would like to add more sensitivity to their music, a handpan in a major scale may lack some emotive depth. As for the minor scales, the adjective sad is not enough to describe their complexity and their beauty. Often used in classical music and film music, minor scales have this almost supernatural ability to move. Loaded with emotions, the minor scales create suspense, tension and bring an air of magic to the music.
The quality criteria of a handpan
The main quality criteria of a handpan are the precision of the tuning of the notes, the harmonics of the handpan and the absence of unwanted interferences which come to blur the sound. The rest is a matter of personal preference since there is a wide variety of materials, ranges and sounds available today.
To get that magical sound we love so much, each handpan needs to be tuned to the right frequency, depending on the range of the instrument. Then, two harmonics must be tuned within each note, which can also be activated independently, by attenuating the perpendicular axis of the note. The isolation of each note of the handpan is another indicator of quality. On a good handpan, you should be able to play a note without it activating the other notes located around it.