A handpan history crowdsourcing project went online just yesterday (12.8.2021)!

Curious, serious, weird, disturbing, magic, controversial, discoursive… neverending scrolling! More filters in future will surely make sense for the users browsing the timeline entries (so far about 300 listings). Also this reoccurring sentence makes sense:

Remember: This is a living project and there is no claim to completeness.

I would bet: What is visible at a glance when clicking one filter, just like eg  “patents ,  is only a tiny little collection. Surely not all worldwide patents are listed here so far. Maybe some chinese company alone already might own hundreds …


A growing collection of ressources and publications 

Between many other historical things, journalistic and scientific publications and as well trivias there are also some scientific thesis esp. about Handpans which i never heard of before and def. want to read asap.

Badly missing: there are only very few infos about Handpan music and musicians or playing pioneers stories. But maybe also that is well documented anyway on other channels.


A call to dig deeper

Maybe esp. the roots and history of the steeltuning art and the connection between Steelpan and Handpan should be more researched. It seems to be a highly discoursive history (including the now and then made allegation of “cultural appropriation” rspctvl the problem of “owning” a shape by law, whilst the steeltuning art itself came from a culture of an extraordinary strong liberationmovement), The complex steelpan & steel band history is still missing in this timeline in great many aspects, but a bit is there.

Countless questions are raised and the history of those instruments seems to be an outstanding topic to work on – as a researcher, journalist, ethnomusicologist, etc. etc.



PS. The Handpan Timeline has been referred to in the HCU Newsletter August 2021.