Like many other bloggers, I’m incurably self-obsessed, so I inevitably spend a large amount of time looking at my blog stats in WordPress. Recently, I noticed that a lot of people come to this blog to read my Hang Drum post. In fact, it’s one of the most popular posts on this blog.
Thanks to the magic of WordPress stats, I also noticed that these people have often found this blog by searching for “buy a hang drum”, “hang drum dealers” or similar. I expect that they’ll be disappointed with that post which is, essentially, a mild expression of interest in a unique and quirky instrument, rather than a How To guide.
Of course, I hate to disappoint, so over the past few days I’ve been trying to answer the question: how do you buy a hang drum? Unfortunately it looks like the short answer is: you can’t.
Here’s why: It turns out that a couple of guys in Switzerland — Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer — design and produce the hang themselves. Judging by what I’ve read on several other blogs and forums, these guys are only willing to make a “handful” of these instruments every year to order through their company, Panart. See this Metafilter post (and comments) for more details:
Discover the hang drum
If you can make the trip over to Switzerland — and assuming they’re still making them — you can expect to pay upwards of US$500 for one. If not, forget it. Apparently, they set up a distribution network as well as a website (www.hang.ch – don’t bother going there; it’ll either give you a 404 or a filler search page) in the early days, but this was quickly overwhelmed by high demand. You may be able to find one or two on E-bay, but you should expect to pay a premium for them, as I indicated in my original post.
It’s actually incredibly difficult to find up-to-date information on the current situation, but it appears that they’ve either stopped producing the instrument, or are still making it in very limited quantities. Judging by the level of demand online, it’s highly unlikely that anyone outside a select few will be able to get their hands on one in time for Christmas 2007.
UPDATE: 26/08/2007: You’ll see that Michael from das hangblog has dropped by the comments section to helpfully give an updated picture of the hang-buying situation. Bottom line: you may be in with a chance of buying one next year — but you’ve still got to travel to Switzerland.
UPDATE: 24/04/2009: A hang drum fan called Tim has helpfully left a comment on the other hang drum post with some up-to-date information.