Find the mood & scale that suits you
Many makers invent their own names for already named scales, thus a jungle of terms has been created, which makes it difficult to understand. Here we list the most common scales and describe them in a few words.
Kurd / Annaziska:
For us one of the most varied minor scales. In D minor and E minor it is called "Kurd", in C sharp (C#) it is called "Annaziska". Here we learn what harmonic diversity means, because even on an 8 notation 6 full chords can be played here. From dreamy to mystical and up to happy and hopeful. With a Kurd / Annaziska you can express all your feelings. Here Malte plays on a C# Annaziska Handpan by Gio:
Celtic / Amara:
The Celtic Minor or Amara is based on the scale that is common in traditional Celtic music. The absence of the sixth makes this scale even more intuitive and harmonious. Suitable for every beginner. Here the sound example of a D Amara Handpan from Gio, which you can also find in our shop.
The scale "Mystic" was our beginner model for the two of us. A mystic atmosphere is created by the absence of the seventh. Ideal for a flowing, rhythmic game.
Due to the pentatonic the Pygmy is a very harmonic scale, which invites you to dream and float away. A touch of melancholy that shines through the player as if in a dream. This impression is confirmed in the following video by Malte, in which he enhances his Pygmy Handpan with effects.
A deeper variation of "Pygmy", in the ring around the thing starting at the second. This requires a different way of playing, which in our opinion is especially suitable for melodic playing. We recommend it to advanced players*. For pure Low Pygmy sounds listen to the song by Yatao, in which Malte and Alex each play on an F Low Pygmy Handpan:
Asha / Ashakiran:
"Asha" is literally translated as "hope" and "Ashakiran" as "ray of hope". She animates to happy, light, melancholic, hopeful melodies. While the Asha classical has only 8 tones on the upper shell, the Ashakiran is extended by a ninth tone on that one and receives at least three tones on the lower shell. Especially the second and third in the lower range and the fourth in the upper, complete the already rich Asha to a Handpan that leaves nothing to be desired. A very nice insight into the Ashakiran sounds is offered by the following video by Yatao, in which Malte and Alex play on a D Ashakiran Handpan by Ayasa:
We often describe them with the adjective "spicy". The small second between first and second stage is responsible for the fact that a typical oriental sound is created. Suitable for percussive playing and oriental or even Spanish sounding melodies.
This scale is also a bit "spicy". The tone structure is similar to that of the "Kurd" or "Annaziska", except that here the seventh is increased and thus gives the oriental flavour. On this scale you can play wonderfully melodic as well as percussive. In combination with a Digeridoo, you can listen to a Soulshine C Hijaz Handpan here - have fun with Yatao:
If you mainly want to play together with other people, a "D minor" hand pan is recommended. Classical scales are "Kurd", "Amara" or "Celtic Minor", "Mystic". This key is very popular and widespread in Western Europe, which makes it easy to play together.
In other parts of the world, for example, Arabic scales like 'Hijaz' or 'Harmonic Minor' are more in demand.