Tongue Drum and Handpan : what is the difference between these two instruments ?

Tongue Drum, Handpan, two new names in the world of music for two musical instruments born in the 21st century. But what are the real differences between these two types of instruments ? To better highlight them, take an interest in addressing their strange similarities through this article.

Tongue Drum and Handpan : two diatonic instruments

The handpan is a brand name registered by an American company, in 2007, the PANArt. It is a diatonic musical instrument, which you can find both heptatonic and pentatonic. You can even play it at home or in a quiet place. In other words, it is an instrument that does not have all the notes of the chromatic scale. That is to say, it cannot play semitones, those which are represented, on sheet music, by the sharp and flat symbols. Indeed, the heptatonic character of the handpan means that the musical scale has seven degrees, or seven notes. The pentatonic character means that the handpan has a musical scale of five degrees, or five notes. It is exactly the same for the tongue drum, which is a heptatonic or pentatonic diatonic instrument. The handpan and the tongue drum also share the same constituent, metal ; and the same shape, ovoid.

Game differences between tongue drum and handpan

Tongue drums are instruments with metal tongues, cut directly into one of the steel plates of the instrument. They are then numbered according to the notes they can produce, from 1 to 7, that is to say from Do to B. The percussion is carried out either with the hands and fingers, or with the help of chopsticks. On the contrary, the handpan does not have tongues, nor any cutout. The sound it produces is based on the shape given to it by stamping.

The difference can also be seen in size and weight. The handpan is larger and sometimes lighter than the tongue drum. On the other hand, the tongue drum is made of a thicker steel. However , their prices in no way correspond to their weight . Thus, a tongue drum is much cheaper than a handpan. You may also notice the difference in sound. The sound of the tongue drum is conducive to meditation. It has a deep, bewitching harmony. While the handpan can be played with more force, at a much faster pace. The sound of this instrument is more captivating than that of the tongue drum.

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