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 Post subject: Comments on "Demystifying Scales & Sound Models: Part #1"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:22 pm

Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:48 pm
Posts: 507
Location: Deutschland, NRW
ChristopherA encouraged us to comment on his Demystifying Scales & Sound Models: Part #1 — Integral on So here is mine.

I'll start with Integral scale, as exemplified by the 3rd generation of Panart Hang hand pans, sometimes called the "Integral Hang"

Integral is not the name of a scale. So integral scale is a misnomer. You can say "[D3] A3 Bb4 C4 D4 E4 F4 A4 is the scale of the Integral Hang", but not "this is a Hang with the Integral scale". "Integral" in the name of the Hanghang built since 2008 (by the way, "Integral Hang" is the official and only name of this Hang version) refers to the target of the PANArt tuners to integrate all aspects of the instrument into a hollow. So an integral playing of the instrument became necessary. The tone circle, later called the chorus is only one aspect of many. The main difference of the Integral Hang compared with the 2nd generation was the closer connection between Ding an Gu. So the Gu-Ding-integration became more important for the player. Even in 2007 PANArt described the main construction principle for the tones of Gu, Ding, chorus and Gu neck of the second generation Hang: "Seven or eight harmonically tuned tone fields are arranged around the central tone, the DING. With all Hanghang the DING is a D3 (Re3). The DING resonates together with the GU resonance of D2 (Re2) when you play with the instrument in your lap. This is the ground resonance of the air which streams in and out through the GU, when it is activated by tapping the DING or the shoulder of the DING. The throat-shaped GU has its own high resonance (D5, Re5), aligned with the DING side. In the tone circles of all the new Hanghang you will find the fifth, A3, plus D4 and A4." Since the 2nd generation the Hang wasn't tuned with a concept of scale but with the concept of integral tuning. In the book "Hang - Sound Sculpture" from 2013 Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer have described seven "sources of richness".

Originally most Panart hangs were tuned a bit higher, typically an F or G.

The first generation Hanghang from 2001 to 2004 had predominantly a Ding tuned to A or G (a lesser number in F). The Low Hang 2005 had a Ding tuned to F, E or Eb.

The reason for this are numerous, mostly having to do with different choices of the underlying geometry of the Hang.

The geometry of the Hang has nothing to do with the frequency of the Ding. PANArt tuned Dings with tones from Bb3 to B2 over the years with the identical Hang shape.

It is rumored that the size of the Hang was somewhat selected by what would fit, while in a case, in a European airline overhead bin.

This is a funny rumor with no relationship to reality. With the same logic we could guess that the dimensions of a cello were chosen to fit into a Citroën 2CV. :D As CristopherA wrote, the Hang size has to do with playability on the lap.

If the Gu is unobstructed, the typical early Hang had a fundamental Heimholz Resonance of F2.

This is valid for all Hang versions. For Gu-Ding-integration since the 2nd generation Hang the player had to close his legs to lower the Helmholtz resonance to D2 for coupling it with the Ding (D3). This is very seldom seen in videos. It seems the majority of players on the streets, on stages and in videos is not interested in this important feature.

* Shell Ring: The size and diameter of the Gu in the underlying shell also has its own bell tone. If the Gu is circular, the typical early Hang would have a ring note of G5, with harmonic overtones at the octave G5 and its compound 5th Eb5.

As far as I know the bell of the Gu neck of the first generation Hang wasn't tuned harmonical with octave and compound fifth. Mine is not. PANart began to tune the Gu neck with D5, F5 and Fis5 in 2007. And more elaborated and clearer in 2008. This bright, oscillating sound is called Guing and part of the integration of all aspects of the Hang.

* Metal and Thickness: The early Hang had a thinner metal, more like steel pans of the day, and though the metal composition was improved over steel pans, it was not as different as later Hangs and hand pans would use. The consequence of this was that low notes would be thinner, and risk either easily falling out of tune, or be easily damaged.

This is not correct. The Thickness of the metal is all the same for all Hang versions. There only was a development in the nitriding procedure during the Integral Hang period. Older raw forms were nitrided according to the first patent with sandwitch hardening, the newer were nitrided according to the second patent until the sheet is fully permeated by iron nitride needles. The Pang material as it is called by PANArt was the main invention by PANArt long before the Hang was invented. PANArt built steelpans and other instruments with this material before the Hang. The better tuning of low notes has to do with elaborated heating procedures during the several tuning phases and the improved tuning experience of the tuners.

It is the decision to make this odd choice of a somewhat dissonant half-step shell tone that is fascinating. The consequence is that these the shell's negative impedence of F#5 (the compound 5th of B) and the new 2nd half-step shell tone positive F#5 resonance somewhat cancel each other out (+1-1=0). I believe this unifies the timbre of more notes of the D Integral Hang.

This is just speculation. The true reason for this tuning PANArt told us in the Hang Guide: "Stimulating the rim of the neck emits a bright, oscillating GUING sound." There is no secret behind this.

Thus given all of these factors, you can see why Panart chose to standardize on the D Integral Hang with [D3] A3 Bb4 C4 D4 E4 F4 A4.

All these consideration are based on own thoughts only and are not covered by sources of PANArt. There is a serious argument against the guess, that PANArt chose the special notes of the chorus of the Integral Hang because of reasons described with that concept of "impedance" (I never heard or read from the PANArt tuners), the geometry of the Hang and to avoid certain frequencies: The Free Integral Hang was tuned to tones based on a Ding from about 123 Hz (B2) to about 156 Hz (Eb2). So choosing certain tones cannot be their concept.

An open question that I have about the 4th generation "Free Integral" Hang — since they are not tuned to a tempered scale, I wonder why they have not gone back to explore adding back in the G. As you can have a true "justified" G that doesn't have the overtone problems of the a tempered scale, I think it could sound very good.

I think this shows, that avoiding the G because of avoiding special frequencies was not the reason for the choice of the tones in the chorus of the Integral and Free Integral Hang.


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