Handpan is a type of drum, but it is a relatively new and distinct type of drum that was invented in the early 2000s by a company called PANArt in Switzerland. The handpan is also known as a "hang drum", although that term is not completely accurate, as the hang was a specific model of handpan created by PANArt.
The handpan is a percussion instrument that is played by striking different parts of its convex surface with the hands, creating a range of melodic and harmonic tones. It is typically made of high-quality steel and is carefully tuned to produce specific notes and harmonics.
Unlike traditional drums, which produce a more rhythmic, repetitive beat, the handpan is known for its ethereal, meditative sound and is often used in relaxation, meditation, and healing music. Its unique sound and playing technique have made it a popular instrument in many genres of music, including world music, jazz, and even some forms of rock and pop.
In summary, the handpan is a type of drum that is played by hand and produces melodic, harmonic tones, rather than a strictly rhythmic beat.