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About the Tongue Drum

Steel tongue drum

Anyone who belongs to music industry must have heard about this wonderful instrument. But if you have not heard of it, you have this chance to know more about it. It is an amazing instrument. The Steel tongue drum is commonly referred to as Handpan. They produce wonderful and best tones, add color as well as a unique moderation when applied to your music. Indeed, notwithstanding the music genre, this instrument is useful.

History and heritage

This instrument originated in Caribbean island (Trinidad and Tobago) in the 1930s. It had several predecessors who are most notably the Tambiro by Vega and Whale drum by Double Jim. In February the year, 2007 Havlena was inspired by Tambiro’s physical properties. He was also inspired by Hang’s tone layout. He created the steel tongue drum which took a circular pattern layout shape. It was from an empty twenty-pound propane tank. This is when this name «Tongue Drum» came into existence from the «Hang» and «Tank» combination.
This instrument was later established in many parts of the world including Switzerland among other parts of Europe. It is mostly used in European countries even today. Dennis Havana’s instrument has, in turn, inspired other inventors of steel tongue drum. It is being used by many musicians to shape the tones and color of the music in the music industry. Today we have many vendors that provide commercial versions of this steel tongue instruments. The instrument takes the same family as bells, Tibetan bowls, and Shaman’s tambourine.

Uses of steel tongue drum

Education

Everybody believes that tongue drums are very useful to every child. A child may choose this chance to benefit from drums to perform and play music. The instruments are unique and easy to every child understanding. For pre-school up to adult education, it serves children at any age. If you are in college or home-schooling this instruments will help your career come true. Tongue drum is easy, flexible, versatile, and creative to play. Indeed, no knowledge or experience needed to understand it. Just try it!

A stepping stone instrument in the music industry

The drum acts as a kind of fun in music development. It builds self-esteem thus considered as a stepping stone instrument by many. When later mixed with tones from wind instruments such as piano the song become even more amazing. It also creates a beautiful performance and recording.

Important in group and adults setting

This instrument is popular with teenagers and older children. It helps them to play music with a more, beautiful and sophisticated manner. Since these groups like the therapeutic and calming effect, they prefer to use it in all their ages. It works well with adults and children groups such as disabled people and people with disability.

The RAV Vast

RAV Vast drum is one of the best tongue drums that has taken everybody by surprise. RAV Vast seems to be a discovery to everybody who finds it. It has a hypnotic, meditative and tranquil sound. Among all other drums, it stands as the complete harmony of 5-8 tones on every tongue. Its rich in sound makes it popular and in-demand instrument. Give it a try and find out its importance.

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6 Unique Musical Instruments You Didn’t Know About

Music is one language that everyone understands. It brings
people together and it is universal. It is hard to say when people began
developing music but we can guess that it was very early in the human history.
And from the very beginning of the history of music different peoples started
inventing their own musical instruments. There are some that are similar among
various nationalities and some that are completely different. We will have a
look at some unique musical instruments from around the world.

1. The Hydraulophone

The hydraulophone was created in the 1980s
by an engineering professor at the University of Toronto Steve Mann. He
invented this instrument for individuals who have vision problems so they would
be able to better use their senses. In fact, if you want to play the instrument
you need to get your hands wet because the sound is produced by pressurized
hydraulic fluid rather than by air.

The instrument looks like a curved tube
with several holes in it. The water is pumped through this tube and then is
spurts out. Above each hole there is a sounding mechanism. When you place a
finger over one hole the water is diverted to another part of the instrument.

2. The Balalaika

This is a traditional Russian folk
instrument, which resembles other stringed instruments, such as tambura or
dombra. It is believed that balalaika appeared in Russia approximately in the 1500s
and the first written document where it was mentioned dates back to 1688. This
instrument was popular with middle and lower classes. From its appearance
troubadours and jesters played it and ridiculed the ruling class of that time.
By the end of 19th century balalaika could be found almost in every
Russian household.

Balalaika is string instrument of
triangular shape. The balalaikas come in five sizes – from 20 inches to 5.8
feet. The modern balalaikas were developed by Russian musician Vasily Andreyev
at the end of 19th century.

3. The Ravanahatha

One of the interesting Indian musical
instruments is ravanahatha. This is a bowed string instrument. It was probably
invented at the times of King Ravana by the Hela community. Supposedly, the
instrument is named after this king. The ravanahatha is especially popular in Rajasthan,
North India among the street musicians.

The sound box of the instrument is made of
a half of a coconut shell with a membrane of goat skin. There are two principal
strings, one of which is made of horsehair and another of steel. There is a
stick made of bamboo attached to the shell, and some bells along the bow. The instruments
can vary in length.

4. RAV Vast

RAV Vast drum is another one in the list of
weird musical instruments. It combines the concept behind tongue drums and
handpans. This is a perfect instrument for meditation. The steel tongues
vibrate to create soothing meditative melodies. On each tongue up to 6
harmonics can be tuned. The range of the instrument could be spread to full 2
octaves of the scale.

RAV vast was invented by Andrey Remyannikov
in 2013, so it is a very modern instrument. Andrey spent months trying to make
different sounds from the steel instrument and came up with a perfect
combination.

5. Cajón

Cajon was invented in Peru in the late 16th
century. It is believed that in the
beginning it was played by slaves of African origin. The peak of its popularity
was in the middle of 19th century. Currently cajon is widely used in
Spain, the Philippines and both Americas.

The instrument is used to play such styles
of music as jazz, flamenco and others. A cajon is a box-shaped percussion
instrument that is played by slapping its rear faces or front with fingers or
hands. The box is made of thick wood. There is a sound hole on the back side of
the cajon.

6. Lurr

A lurr (or a lur) is an old Scandinavian
wooden instrument that was introduced by Vikings in the middle ages. The
instrument is played by embouchure and it is a blowing horn without finger
holes. Lurrs come in different shapes and can be curved or straight. It is
considered that the ancestor of wooden lurr is a bronze lurr that dates back to
the Bronze Age. It was found in Northern Germany and Scandinavian countries.
Lurr can be as long as 1,5 – 2 meters. In order to avoid directing loud noise
at nearby people curved lurrs were invented. Besides, such lurrs were easier to
carry.

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Handpan and Hang Drum History

Handpan is a musical instrument that captivates the listener with a strong hypnotic draw and has different vibe and scales of mystery to its tone. This instrument remains elusive in its acquisition and has been described by the Atlantic as a cross between a flying saucer and a caveman tool. It drew its origins from the steel drum family emulating the traditional steel pans of the Caribbean Islands. Initially, the handpan was recognized as the “hang” – a word that means “hand” in Bernese German dialect due to the fact that the instrument was played by hand. In other terms, it can be referred as a term used for a group of unique musical instruments that has resulted from a growing worldwide interest in the Hang.

 

How did this instrument originate?

The heritage of this instrument originates in Bern, Switzerland where Felix Rohner and Sabina Schårer constructed this multifaceted instrument called Hang. Felix Rohner was the first prominent player of a musical instrument called the Trinidad Steel drum which received its first recognition in Europe in the early 70s. With a clear understanding of steel drum, he and his business partner Sabrina Scharer established PanArt, a company well known for creating dented musical instruments in the year 1990. It was not until the year 2001, when Felix and Sabrina officially introduced Hang in Musikmesse Frankfurt in Germany.

This presentation led to the popularization of the hang drum musical instrument for its mysterious and beautiful tone as well as its unique scales. However, the creators did not mass produce it and as a result it was only available in a limited number each year. This is because they saw the tool as an artistic and imaginative creation and not something that can be easily sold around the world. It was for this reason that different versions began to erupt from Europe and United States by other instrument makers in the year 2007. These models were referred to as the “handpan” and not “hang” as initially recognized. There are now over 100 makers of handpan in the world with varying degrees of objective ad subjective quality.

In order to maintain the originality of this unique instrument, Felix and Sabrina made a policy where potential customers who wanted to purchase the instrument had to present a hand-written letter explaining why they needed the tool. In the year 2013, PanArt stopped making the instrument in order to preserve the value, mystique and elusiveness of this distinctive musical instrument. They said that the Hang belongs to the flow of the gift and is not a tool to be put in a shop window.

 

What makes the handpan and the hang different?

Hang was created and its inventors trademarked the name Hang and took legal rights over it under PanArt. As a result, handpan became the name of every other instrument makers in the United States, in Europe and any other place in the world. The name “Hang” is only limited to instruments created by PanArt whereas the name “handpan” refers to any other type of hang drum type or steel pan created by instrument makers other than the PanArt.

In addition, the handpan also known as hand drum is made from a 55 gallon industrial drum and can only be played with the help of a panstick. On the other hand, the hangdrum is made from nitrated sheets of steel and it can be played without the help of any other additional items.

 

Is a hang and hangdrum the same item?

Although “hangdrum” is term commonly used by most people verbally to refer to a hang, the original makers maintain that the title of the musical instrument should be hang in order to maintain their brand of the handpan.

 

Music played with a hand drum.

This instrument is often described with a mystical sound with intergrated overtones which are known to have a positive effect on body and mind. Many musicians have used this tool in festivals, concerts and events with a variety of other instruments to make electronic music or a laid back chill out music.

 

How is this tool played?

The quality of the handpan and its ability to entertain the audience and its specialist is a great gift to the musical community. Many people all over the world have tried to understand the mystery behind this instrument as well as to know how to play it. As it continues to gain popularity and resonate with different cultures all over the world, many people are beginning to appreciate its abilities. In order to get the best out of this tool, you need to learn how to hit it the right way. You are required to shut off everything that threatens your peace and through calmness and a gentle touch this magical instrument brings out resonating and captivating sounds. You can only bring the best out of this tool through a gentle, calm and soft touch.

When it comes to creating music and melodies with the handpan, there is no strict rule; you just need to pour your tender soul in what you are playing and you will be amazed to learn how this intuitive instruments interprets the sounds. You do not need a musical training to play this tool.

 

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Top 5 Kids Musical Instruments

As a parent, you want your child to be a well-rounded, cultured individual when they grow up. Buying them children’s musical instruments goes a long way in teaching them different skills and introducing the beauty of music from an early age. Furthermore, you can help them discover and develop their talent early on, something that will come in handy if they decide to pursue music as a career. While many parents go for the classic guitar and pianos, there’s a whole world of great instruments that you can get. Below is a selection of five of the best.

A drum set. Let’s just say that a drum set for kids is a great idea both for the kid and the parent. It allows your child to experiment and to be creative as they set out to create their own tunes. They will learn rhythm and also perfect their coordination, qualities that will serve them well in the real world. Also in this digital age whereby many kids are living a dangerously sedentary lifestyle, a drum set is great for keeping them active.

If you are looking for something that’s unique and fun for both you and your child, go for the RAV Vast. This instrument looks like a drum, although it is shaped like a pan, something that makes it be also referred as a handpan. Kids like it for its unique and interesting shape, and they also find it easy to play. It is tuned perfectly so that the kids cannot play false notes. Given that the RAV Vast is also an adult instrument, you will enjoy playing it together with your mini-you. And also it’s super durable – and this is a very important factor when we talking about something for the kids.

If you are a fan of classical music and want you kid to follow suit, then a violin is the best way to go. It is one of the most popular musical instruments for kids, and with good reason. Its small size means that your kid will not overexert themselves while trying to learn. It also produces beautiful melodies that open up a whole new world for children. Depending on the age of the child, you can get them an electronic version that plays melodies or you can get them the real deal and let them learn to play it.

The children’s musical instruments covered so far mostly produce beats by hand or produce music by strings. What about making some music using the lungs. Woodwind instruments are the best for this. There is a good variety of such, including flutes and saxophones. You can also get these in kid size, complete with attractive bright colors and they lay a solid background for children to master the saxophone, trumpet, or trombones later in life.

Another great percussion instrument for kids is the xylophone. This instrument is easy enough to play, and even little kids will enjoy creating their own tunes on it. The xylophone version for younger kids comes decorated with different colors so that your child maintains the interest. The good thing about all these instruments is that once your kid outgrows the children’s version, they will move right to the adult version and pick up from where they left.