Sunday, February 24, 2008

HANG on to your hats!

The hang can be placed on the lap or on a stand

I first heard about this delightful new instrument (inspired by the Caribbean steelpan) when a friend sent me an excited SMS a few days ago after viewing video footage of an Irish busker playing a hang. "Looks just like a UFO,"she said. That got me curious so I did a bit of research and found this entry in Wikipedia:

The Hang was developed in 2000 in Berne, Switzerland by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer (PANArt Hangbau AG) and introduced at the Frankfurt Music Fair in 2001. Its name comes from the Bernese German word for hand. The two hemispheres are hardened by a process known as gas-nitriding. The side considered the 'bottom' has an opening (Gu) in the center which is the bass note. When it is played in a dampened way it can change in pitch similar to a talking drum. On the 'top' are seven (in the bass version of the Hang) or eight (treble version) notes arranged in a 'Tone Circle' in zig-zag fashion from low to high. All are tuned harmonically around a low note (Ding) at the center of the Tone Circle.

[Images borrowed from and Wikipedia]


Hang demo by Dante Bucci of Philadelphia who describes himself as an "obscure instrumentalist." He plays Hang, Theremin, Didjeridoo, musical saw, flute, acoustic guitar, Drums, Congas, and other misc. percussion.

Current Projects: Mutlu (, Various local Philly artists, and new solo project on Hang drum.


John Pascuzzi lives in Orange County, California. These notes are from his YouTube channel:

If you like my music, feel free to hop over to my channel to check out the main instrument that I play, the "igil" at:

Thanks to all the commenters I haven't thanked, YouTube won't let me reply directly to comments that aren't on the most recent page of comments, something isn't working, and they go by so fast I can't keep up. And a special thank-you to the haters too, you're comments are quite entertaining! :)

The song is called Space Bunnies, and yes (to some folks out there who wondered or think I'm "hand-syncing" or that this is somehow "fake" lol, like lip-syncing to a pre-recorded song) it was recorded live in one take, with a contact mic (the thing that's taped onto the instrument) plugged into an AdrenaLinn guitar processor (for the echo delays and the regular drum beats) and then straight into the video camera... super lo-fi. They are kind of tough to mic properly, since the sound comes out all around the top, so I was trying out a "contact mic" which is stuck to the surface of the instrument and picks up the vibrations of the metal, and then I figured why not plug it into an echo delay effects unit for fun. Was just experimenting and playing around one morning for awhile and then turned on the camera, so some fellow Hang players out there could hear how it sounded through a Contact Mic. But then others out there in YouTube-land seemed to like it, so I left it online.

Some folks think it's some elaborate conspiracy hoax, lol. There are tons of videos on YouTube with others playing these instruments, I just decided to add a little echo to it, no big mystery, thanks much for stopping by and checking it out.

And YES, there are a couple parts, especially on the muted notes around :50 where you'll hear a note but not see me hit it, that's because what you are hearing is a delayed echo of a note that I hit a couple seconds before. Sorry for the long in depth explanation, but for some reason, some people think it's voodoo or something.

The little wooden rectangle on the Hang Drum is the Contact Mic, stuck to the surface with contact mic putty, the blue masking tape is to isolate and hold down the wire coming out of the contact mic so it doesn't rattle around while I'm playing, otherwise that noise would get picked up by the mic.


More info about the Hang Drum at:

My website:

myspace page:

Hang Drum recorded using a Contact Microphone

Music by John Pascuzzi of "a single thread"