Why is the hang percussion instrument getting popular?
A Brief on Hang Percussion Instrument Metal Idiophone
Why is the Hang percussion instrument getting popular?
A Note by Dr. Peyman Nasehpour
First let us explain what the Hang is. While some use the term "hang drum" to indicate this music instrument, the hang is not a drum, though it is an idiophone percussion instrument and belongs to the same family of music instruments that for example triangle, xylophone or even Basque txalaparta belongs to. A drum, by definition, consists a membrane that is stretched over a shell and struck either directly with the drummer’s hands or a drum stick to sound. Obviously it is correct that a Hang is struck with the hands of the Hang player, but there is no doubt that it has no membrane and therefore one should not call it a hang drum! It is also good to mention that other instruments that are played similar to a Hang are the hand percussion instruments Udu and Ghatam, though the Hang is melodic and normally a hang player can produce simple melodic pieces.
In some senses, the Hang is similar to the bonang both in shape and somehow application, but the difference is that the Hang is played with hands, while bonang is played with sticks. Perhaps the reader knows that the bonang is a traditional Indonesian music instrument used in Javanese gamelan. By the way, the great advantage of the Hang is that it is portable, while for example bonang cannot be carried easily.
Originally produced in Bern, Switzerland by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer, the percussion instrument Hang is getting popular, though it is mostly used in modern music.
Etymology of the word Hang
The name "hang" comes from a Bernese German word for hand.
In my opinion, the hang instrument is getting popular for several reasons. The first reason is that it is somehow unique since it is a very rare hand percussion melodic instrument. The second reason is that it is rather easy to play and is portable. The third reason is that it is a new music instrument and the fever of discovering a new instrument is quite natural. Definitely a new music instrument can survive if it has some unique applications at least in a specific musical genre and this is something that future will show either this music instrument will survive or not and also if it is survived, then it will remain popular or not.
Date of publication: January 28th, 2015.