Posted in music, physics

Physicists hung up on hang’s sound

I read this pretty interesting article from Physics Today about the hang (pronounced “hung”) a cousin of the steel drum, but made by PANArt in Bern, Switzerland. It’s played flipped over with the convex side of the bowl facing up. The player hits the drum with their hands, making all sorts of interesting sounds. And not just sounds like a steel drum or a xylophone, but sounds that can mimic the long notes of string instruments.

Physicists Andrew Morrison and Tom Rossing got really interested in the hang and how it makes all its different sounds. The article explains what they looked at on the hang and what they found.

“By examining the modes of vibration and the sound intensity fields of the hang, physicists can gain a better understanding of how the instrument produces its distinct sound. Such investigations also advance the science of musical instruments.”



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.