Steel tongue drum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Whale drum

A steel tongue drum, tank drum or hank drum is a round steel slit/tongue drum originally fashioned from a propane cylinder.


A steel tongue drum can be made from an empty (often 20lb) propane tank. The tank is flipped over, the base cut/knocked off; and seven to ten tongues are cut radially into the bottom of the tank, forming the top of the instrument. Steel tongue drum can also be made from new unused tank heads. The tongues can be tuned by the maker by varying the length of the cuts, or by adding weights, often neodymium magnets to the tongues. The steel tongue drum is often tuned to pentatonic scales but can be tuned to the diatonic scale, the chromatic scale, or any set of notes the maker chooses. The instrument is played with the fingers or with mallets. The tone is bell-like.

Another Chinese version of tank drum(空灵鼓).It's called "konglinggu" in Chinese. When playing, only hammer is used instead of hand. The timbre is different from other types. Combined with the musical characteristics of the bianzhong in the spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, they are also sinicized in appearance, and are used to cooperate with other traditional Chinese musical instruments, which are more and more popular. Even use it for prenatal education and meditation.


The steel tongue drum had several predecessors, most notably the Whale Drum in 1990 by Jim Doble and the Tambiro by Felle Vega.[1] In February 2007 Dennis Havlena,[2] inspired by the physical properties of the Tambiro[3] and the tone layout of the Hang, created a steel tongue drum with a circular cross pattern layout from an empty 20-pound propane tank. The name 'Hank Drum' came from a combination of "Hang" and "tank".[4]

Dennis Havlena's instrument, in turn, has inspired other steel tongue drum inventions. Today there are a lot of vendors of commercial versions of the steel tongue drum worldwide.



External links[edit]