The handpan and tongue drum are both idiophone percussion instruments that produce melodic and harmonic sounds when struck with the hands. However, they differ in their construction and sound production.
A handpan is a steel drum with a central note and several surrounding notes that are arranged in a circular pattern. The musician plays the handpan by striking the notes with their fingers or hands, producing a rich, resonant sound with a long sustain.
A tongue drum, on the other hand, has tongues or slats cut into the top of the instrument, which the musician strikes with their hands or mallets to produce sound. The tongues are arranged in a scale or pattern that allows the musician to create a melody and rhythm.
In terms of choosing between a handpan and tongue drum, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and the type of sound you are looking for. Handpans tend to have a more complex and nuanced sound, with a wider range of tones and overtones, while tongue drums have a simpler and more focused sound. Additionally, handpans are typically more expensive than tongue drums, which can be a factor in your decision.
Both handpans and tongue drums are great instruments for relaxation, meditation, and musical expression. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your individual preferences, playing style, and musical goals.