Written by 5:03 pm Creative Musical Instrument

What Is An Opsilon Handpan?

What Is An Opsilon Handpan?

An Opsilon Handpan is a musical instrument that looks like a metal UFO. It’s played by tapping the different parts to make beautiful sounds and melodies.

Who invented the Opsilon Handpan?

The Opsilon Handpan is a relatively recent invention, and its origins can be traced back to the early 21st century. The instrument was not invented by a single individual but rather developed by various craftsmen, artisans, and musicians worldwide. It evolved from the original steelpan instruments, which originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1930s.

These early handpan-like instruments laid the foundation for the modern Opsilon Handpan. Over the years, different makers and innovators contributed to its design and improvement, resulting in the diverse range of handpans available today. So, the Opsilon Handpan is a collaborative creation shaped by the efforts of many talented people.

image source: https:// opsilon .de

What does an Opsilon Handpan look like?

An Opsilon Handpan looks like a unique, round, metal musical instrument with a UFO-like appearance. It’s typically about two feet in diameter and has a convex shape with a circular layout of indentations, known as “tone fields” or “notes.”

These tone fields vary in size and are arranged in a circular pattern, radiating from the center. The top surface is where you play it, and it usually has a hole in the center.

The metal shell can have artistic designs and various finishes. The overall look is captivating, making it both a captivating musical instrument and a piece of art.

How is an Opsilon Handpan played?

Playing an Opsilon Handpan is an enchanting experience. To make beautiful sounds, gently strike the tone fields with your fingertips. Each field produces a unique note, so you can create melodies by tapping different fields.

The instrument is designed to be intuitive, and you don’t need any special mallets or sticks. You can use your hands to explore various techniques like tapping, sliding, or even muting to change the sound.

It’s important to play with a light touch and experiment with different combinations of notes to create soothing, melodic tunes. Opsilon Handpans offers a wonderful, meditative musical experience for players of all skill levels.

Where can I buy an Opsilon Handpan?

You can buy an Opsilon Handpan from several places. One option is to purchase directly from the makers or authorized dealers, who often have websites where you can place orders. Online marketplaces like Etsy or dedicated handpan marketplaces may also have sellers offering Opsilon Handpans.

Additionally, you can check with local music stores or artisans who specialize in crafting handpans. Keep in mind that Opsilon Handpans are unique and may have varying prices based on their specific features, so it’s essential to research and compare options to find one that suits your preferences and budget.

Are Opsilon Handpans easy to learn?

Opsilon Handpans can be relatively easier to learn compared to some other musical instruments. They are designed with a user-friendly layout, and you don’t need prior musical experience. Basic melodies can be played with just a little practice.

However, mastering the instrument takes time and patience. It’s essential to practice regularly to improve your skills and technique. Learning to control your touch, hand placement, and coordination can be challenging, but with dedication, you can make beautiful music.

Many online tutorials and instructional resources are available to help beginners get started on their Opsilon Handpan journey.

What kind of music can be played on an Opsilon Handpan?

Opsilon Handpans are versatile instruments that can produce soothing and melodic sounds, making them suitable for various music styles. You can play calming and meditative tunes, ideal for relaxation and meditation.

They are also used in world music, allowing you to create exotic and rhythmic melodies. Many players experiment with different genres, including folk, ambient, and even pop music.

The unique, ethereal tones of the handpan make it a great choice for solo performances or as part of an ensemble. So, whether you enjoy serene melodies or want to explore new musical horizons, the Opsilon Handpan offers a wide range of musical possibilities.

Are there different sizes of Opsilon Handpans?
image source: hangdrumsandhandpans .com

Are there different sizes of Opsilon Handpans?

Yes, there are different sizes of Opsilon Handpans available. These various sizes are often referred to as different “scales” or “models.” Each size or scale produces a unique set of musical notes, resulting in different sounds and tonal qualities.

The size and shape of the handpan can affect the instrument’s pitch, resonance, and overall sound. Musicians choose different sizes based on the specific music they want to create or personal preference.

So, whether you prefer high-pitched, low-pitched, or a specific musical scale, there are multiple options to choose from when it comes to Opsilon Handpans.

What’s the difference between an Opsilon Handpan and other handpans?

Differences between an Opsilon Handpan and other handpans:

  1. Design: Opsilon Handpans have a unique UFO-like design, while other handpans may have different shapes and artistic finishes.
  2. Scale: Opsilon Handpans come in various scales or models, each producing different musical notes, whereas other handpans also offer a variety of scales with distinct tonal qualities.
  3. Sound: The specific tuning and craftsmanship of Opsilon Handpans result in their own distinctive sound, which differs from the sound of other handpans.
  4. Makers: Opsilon Handpans are made by specific makers and are distinct from handpans made by other artisans, each with their own techniques and styles.
  5. Availability: Opsilon Handpans may be available through particular makers and dealers, while other handpans are sold by different makers and sources.

These differences contribute to the uniqueness and individuality of Opsilon Handpans in comparison to other handpan varieties.

Can an Opsilon Handpan be tuned or customized?

Yes, an Opsilon Handpan can be tuned and customized to some extent. Skilled artisans who create these instruments can make adjustments to the tuning and fine-tune the notes to achieve the desired sound.

However, it’s important to note that major modifications can be challenging and may affect the instrument’s structural integrity. Customizations often include choosing the scale, decorative finishes, or personalized artwork on the instrument’s surface.

While it’s possible to make some changes, it’s crucial to work with experienced handpan makers or tuners to ensure the modifications maintain the instrument’s quality and sound characteristics.

What are the maintenance requirements for an Opsilon Handpan?

Maintaining an Opsilon Handpan is essential to keep it in good playing condition. Here are some key maintenance requirements:

  1. Keep it clean: Wipe the surface with a soft, dry cloth after each use to remove fingerprints and dust.
  2. Avoid moisture: Protect your handpan from moisture, as it can lead to rust. Store it in a dry place and avoid playing in humid environments.
  3. Use soft hands: Play with clean, dry hands to prevent oils or dirt from accumulating on the surface.
  4. Store properly: When not in use, keep your handpan in a padded bag or case to protect it from scratches and impacts.
  5. Periodic retuning: Over time, handpans may require retuning by a skilled tuner if the notes lose their pitch or sustain.

Regular care and proper storage will help preserve the quality and longevity of your Opsilon Handpan.


Can I travel with my Opsilon Handpan?

Yes, you can, but it’s advisable to check airline regulations and use a suitable carrying case.

How do I maintain the tuning of my Opsilon Handpan?

Regularly consult a professional tuner to maintain its pitch and sound quality.

Are there any accessories I should consider getting with my Opsilon Handpan?

You can consider purchasing a padded case, handpan stand, or protective wax for the instrument.

What is the typical range of prices for Opsilon Handpans?

Prices can vary but generally range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the maker, scale, and customization.

Are there any recommended resources for learning to play the Opsilon Handpan?

Yes, you can find tutorials, lessons, and sheet music online, as well as connect with handpan communities and teachers for guidance.


In conclusion, the Opsilon Handpan is a captivating and unique musical instrument known for its mesmerizing, ethereal sounds. With its UFO-like appearance, ease of play, and versatility, it has captured the interest of musicians and enthusiasts worldwide.

Whether you’re a seasoned musician or a beginner, the Opsilon Handpan offers a path to creative expression and relaxation, making it a distinctive and sought-after addition to the world of music.