Developments and off-springs from the Steel Pan Instrument
The Pan is still a young and evolving instrument. Experiments and developments are being done continuosly. Here is a list of some of the developments, experiments and off-springs of pan.
You may also read about innovations in my Pan Tuning Handbook
Steel Pan (Steel Drums) Information.com also has an informative section on steelpan innovations.
Developments in the electronic area
The E-Pan is invented and sold by NAPE – New Advanced Product Evolution Inc.
This is how NAPE presents the E-Pan:
The E-Pan name is the abbreviated short form chosen for the electronic steelpan. This novel idea was created using high-tech electronics to advance the invention of the traditional instrument.
The E-Pan is now available as a downloadble app for iOS and Android devices.
Read more about the E-Pan at the NAPE website
The Steel Drum Enters The 21st Century! Welcome to the birth of a new era in steel drums. Presenting a "proof of concept" electronic steel drum. Image having the sound and form factor of an acoustical steel drum, without the use of 55-gallon oil drums. See additional information and pictures at www.electricsteeldrums.com. Sound samples and video clips are presented at the page www.electricsteeldrums.com/additional.html
Off-springs, i.e. new instruments
Citing WikiPedia: "The Hang was developed in 2000 in Berne, Switzerland by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer (PANArt Hangbau AG) and introduced at the Frankfurt Music Fair in 2001."
Read more about the acoustical properties of the Hang at the HANG/PANArt blog: Acoustics of the HANG: A hand-played steel instrument
From the Wikipedia entry on handpans:
"Handpan is a term for a group of musical instruments that are classified as a subset of the steelpan. Several handpan makers and brands have emerged in recent years, resulting from a growing worldwide interest in the Hang, which is an instrument developed by the company PANArt that is based on the physical properties of the Trinidadian steelpan, Indian ghatam, Thai gong and Indonesian Gamelan etc."
This video showing the manufacturing and tuning of a handpan shows some interesting tools and techniques.
The crafting and tuning is done by numen instruments in Barcelona.
A scientific thesis work written by Eyal Alon, University of York. April 2015.
From the abstract: "This report details the design and implementation of an experimental procedure to record, analyse and synthesise the handpan sound. Four instruments from three different makers were used for the analysis, which gives insight into common handpan sound features, the influence of strike position on spectral content, and the origin of beating phenomena in the signature handpan sound."