Handpan is a relatively young addition to the world of musical instruments. And in such a short span, the instrument has earned great appreciation from music enthusiasts across the world. Due to the rising demand for musical instruments, many artists are crafting their own version of handpans. And to be honest, every handpan looks just the same! As they say, looks can often be deceiving. So what are the qualities that make the best handpan instrument? The answer is pretty simple: tuning and crosstalk prohibition.
There are obviously more aspects of choosing the best handpan drum, but these two attributes are basic and probably the most important.
Top-of-the-line qualities of the best Handpan instrument
Whether you’re looking for a beginner handpan or for an advanced playing style, there are a few qualities that are unavoidable. Among them, we have already mentioned two aspects right in the beginning. And here we’re going to elaborate on them in detail.
Handpan tuning- 1:2:3
A handpan that is precisely tuned is a rare gem. So when you’re picking a handpan for beginners, carefully notice whether its notes are tuned to a particular pitch of a defined handpan scale. Moreover, there must be 2 additional overtones in each note, following the ratio of 1:2:3.
In simple words, suppose the fundamental note of an ember Steel handpan is 220 Hz (A3), its first overtone should be twice that specific frequency, meaning 440Hz(A4). Following the same, the second overtones or harmonics will be thrice of that frequency, meaning 660 Hz (E5).
That is the most standard tuning of a handpan. However, there are different handpan instrument models crafted between the years 2000 to 2006 that have one or more than one note with a third harmonic. Also, some handpan makers love to tweak with tuning and use shoulder tones or rim tones. Since rim tunes are tough to manage, there is no specific tuning standard. A handpan model can comprise 5 pitches with active overtones.
You can either choose to tune your Handpan beginner model artfully or perfectly. And in either case, you can get a strangely beautiful sound spectrum. To get the best handpan music, the craftsman needs to leave specific overtones a little bit sharp and the other harmonics a little flat.
Unnecessary crosstalk prohibition
The next essential aspect of a handpan is its amazing note isolation. That means, there should be no crosstalk between the handpan notes. In simple words, when you’re playing your Handpan instrument, you should play a single note without triggering the neighboring notes. There should be ‘dead space’ between each note which is known as an interstitial in the musical term. The dead space produces a clear and balanced sound wave. And this interstitial is particularly important when two notes are present in a half-step difference.
So when you’re purchasing your first ever handpan, play it. In case you’re ordering online, check YouTube videos to see others playing the instrument. When crosstalk is present, the tonal quality of the handpans appears discordant, which sounds really unmelodious.
Well, the more the number of notes present in a handpan, the more the chances of crosstalk. That is why experts always suggest purchasing a handpan beginner model that does not have more than eight or nine notes.
On the other hand, there is specific crosstalk, known as sympathy, which is considered to be a boon. As mentioned earlier in the write-up, a perfect handpan possesses three frequencies. They are respectively, fundamental, octave, and the third minor. And a fantastic example of sympathy is: that some handpans contain the E5 notes in both A3 and E4 notes. Here, when you play the E5 note, it activates both the A3 and E4. But instead of sounding peculiar, the tone produced is exceptionally mesmerizing and pleasing.
Although the best handpan instrument features the best tunning and no crosstalk, (or sympathy crosstalk) there are more attributes to consider, including the scale, sustain, material, and timbre. We’ll post separate blogs on each aspect for better understanding. Till then stay tuned to our website for more blogs. In case you’re searching for a handpan for sale at a reasonable handpan drum price,handpan drum price, you can check out the handpans we host within our community.