Around the year 2000, the first hang (registered trademark) was born in Switzerland. Out of love for this instrument other makers have started sculpting handpans in its image.

Unlike a steelpan, which is played with mallets, fingers are used to play the handpan.

By tapping this instrument as if you are touching a hot stove, a beautiful sound emerges.

The handpan is a new style of melodic percussion which is becoming

more and more known and sought after all around the globe.

As unique as the sound of the handpan is just as diverse are it's uses: from street performance to a healing, from a tool for meditation to an instrument for anyone that

has been captured by it's mystic sound,rich overtones,also longer sustain.

The handpan has found it's way into the hearts and hands of many.


I have chosen to work with nitrided metal sheets for my instruments, since the nitriding process hardens the surface of a handpan which greatly increases its durability.

Before the final tuning, the nitrided shell is tempered in an electric oven.


For accurate tuning I use Linotune (a high performance tuning meter) and my 20+ years of experience as a pan tuner of steelpan. The pitch and tone is adjusted without

any compromise to the final quality. 

And I always aim at making the tone of  WARM  healing  a mind.








                               Handpan Maker/Ryo sonobe


In 1990 and 1992, I have travelled to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for the

purpose of studying the production of steelpan instruments.

In 1995, I had the opportunity to learn about making a various ranges of steelpans under the guidance of the master pan-tuner Denzil "Dimes" Fernandez famous as a invention of Bore pan .

This experience led to my career of selling steelpans of my own .


~I have been to Taiwan and HongKong for repair their steelpans and made some steelpans by using local oil drums~

~I have taught steelpan making at private high school class for 14 years~


In the summer of 2012, I got involved in researching a vibrational mode of special

metal disk at the National University of Hiroshima.

(The musical instrument which realizes a musical scale born from a plant)

Then I got very interested in frequency analysis、non-integer harmonics,vibration modes and so on.
From 2014, After this super experience,  I started to manufacture the handpans.

Now I'm making "4th Generation" pans from beginning of 2017.

Words from maker


Firs t of all,

This instrument is not a percussion instrument such as a drum.

Originally called "Sound Sculpture" as you know.

So listen quietly to the sounds,tone of harmonics and various overtones.


When playing the notes,

Be aware of touching gently as much as possible.

Using the index finger to touch the edge of the dimple quickly. 

Then beautiful sound will be born.

Center note,

Play with the whole index finger or tip of the index finger or thumb.

For countless overtones (as it called Shoulder Notes) mixed around the Ding (center note), please tap it with a fingertip strongly.


In recent years, there are people who perform on the street to earn some money.

As they try to make the sound as loud as possible, they tend to beat strongly like a drum.

Being hit like a percussion instrument is unwilling style as this instrument.

So please stop such a rendition.


In the mountain side or riverside, nature such as the the forest, please playing with your own heart.

For a while, forget about time and daily life,

please release the whole your body and soul.


Thanks for reading.


Handpan Maker/Ryo Sonobe

2nd Generation 2015
2nd Generation 2015
     2nd Generation 2015
3rd Generation 2016
4th Generation 2017
4th Generation Extended 2018

5G 2019

5G 2019

Copyright © 2014  sonobe  Allrights reserved.