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No Matter How Many Different Names Culture Vultures Give to Pan, A Pan is Still a Pan

Author: Rudy Kendall

To date, the steelpan instrument as we know it has undergone full scale neo-colonization, where much proof of this fact lies in the numerous different names that have been coined for the instrument. The Pan has turned into everything but a Pan according to the colonizers, who have re-named the instrument everything from ''Bells'' to ''Harps''. Without a doubt, this ever constant flow of new names being attributed to the same old instrument is part of the tried and proven ''divide and conquer'' colonization tactic that has been used by Europeans throughout history in order to carve up the continents and cultures of the world among themselves and establish their status as ''supreme beings'' over the earth. 

The More Things in the World of Pan Change, the More They Remain the Same and 10 Different Names For the Same Instrument is Really Strange

There are currently at least 10 different names for Pan that come directly to mind without doing much thinking:

1. Hang

2. Handpan

3. Pantam

4. Sound Sculptures

5. Resonance Bodies

6. Steel Harp

7. Cupola

8. Bells

9. Gubal

10. Urgu


Not Suprisingly, PANArt is responsible for many of these new names (Hang, Gubal, Urgu, Resonance Bodies, Baal, etc.) as well as the overall trend of European instigated cultural theft of the steelpan instrument vis-a-vis the convex steelpan/Hang. In spite of the facts that Dr. Anthony Achong has explicitly stated in no uncertain terms that the Hang and its bastardized derivatives are nothing new, and the unscrupulous persons inventing these new names for Pan are by and large owners of Dr. Achong's book, ''Secrets Of the Steelpan'', new names for the instrument continue to be churned out and propagated among those who definitely know better, but fail to do better due to selfish interests based on greed and exploitation. 

It is definitely a tedious task trying to keep up with all of these new names being forced upon the instrument, some of which stick and some of which fall by the wayside into oblivion. Lauri Wuolio's name of ''Cupola'' for the Pan comes to mind. Lauri, despite not being a Pan maker, took it upon himself back in 2013 to introduce his new name for the Pan, and this effort on his part obviously fell short given the fact that after 3 years, the name has failed to gain traction. However, this is an example of the sense of entitlement felt on the part of many of the colonizers in the handpan community who feel as though it is appropriate for them to re-name an instrument that they had no part in inventing or developing on any level. 

On the other hand, the actual Pan makers who are devising new names for the instrument usually re-name the Pan out of necessity due to the fact that Felix Rohner of PANArt registered a trademark on the name ''Hang''. This is more proof of pure greed on his part on many levels. Considering that the word ''Hang'' in the Bernese German dialect means ''hand'', it is baffling to those with scruples why exactly someone would want to register a trademark on the Bernese name for a word that defines a natural body part that nearly everyone is born with, especially since as far as we know, Felix Rohner is not responsible for the development of the Bernese German dialect by any stretch of the imagination. 

On another level, this unabated greed on the part of Felix Rohner again manifests itself with the fact that due to his steelpan making background and frequent visits to Trinidad, he was well aware that the ''Hang'' is an old Pan prototype, yet still he pursued and won court action for copyright infringement against another Pan culture vulture from Spain, who was merely following Felix's thieving example and decided to raid the Pan gold mine as well. Apparently, although PANArt stole their ''invention'' wholesale from Trinidad, they managed to secure a patent for their Pang raw forms and did not take kindly to some little grunt from Spain ''infringing'' upon their patent. As we say in the Caribbean, ''Thief never love fi see thief with long bag''. 


The Bells and the Steel Harps

This little grunt from Spain who was just spoken of and headed a now defunct company called ''BellArt'', created a one-off of the PANArt Hang and called it a ''bell''. Granted, the steelpans in all of its various incarnations and bastardizations are members of the idiophone family of instruments, as are the standard bells. Idiophone instruments are distinct in the way that their sound is produced via their own vibrations, which is also exactly the reason why the Pan is not a drum, which produces it's sound via a membrane, in spite of what Bob Lyons may think.

However, the point of mentioning the ''Bell'' is to reiterate the fact that steelpan culture vultures, who are predominantly of European descent have a strong white-supremacist tendency to attribute new names to old things of foreign origin in order to ''create'' the impression of something new, different and European. In the case of the ''Bells'', this was a conscious effort on the part of the defunct Spanish maker to remove the pan from its sub-classification as a Pan within the idiophone family of instruments,while re-classifying it under the name ''Bell'', which is another sub-classification of instruments within the same idiophone family. 

Proponents of the ''BellArt'' knockoffs claim that these instruments sound like actual bells due to their tuning, but why would any reasonable person pay thousands of dollars for a pan that sounds like a bell? Why not just buy real bells for a fraction of the price in order to achieve an authentic bell sound if that is what is required? The answer is, proponents of the ''BellArt'' and other handpan making culture vultures like them are unreasonable, just like the followers of any old random cult who are unreasonable and deluded. 

Well at least ''BellArt'' stayed within the idiophone family of instruments when they re-named the Pan. 

Regarding the name ''Steel Harp'', this particular name was coined by Mr. Eckhard ''666'' Schulz and is used to describe his line of handpan instruments, and unlike BellArt, Schulz took a stretch all the way over to the family of stringed instruments in order to find a new name for his Pans. But at this point, the pretentiousness of all of these essentially unrelated new names for the Pan is readily apparent. 

Before signing off this evening, please take into consideration that the colonization of the Pan is just a small example of the colonization that occurs on a global scale by western powers in non-western nations. Africa, which was re-named after a European, Leonardo Africanus, was carved up and divided and re-named among European powers during the Berlin Conference in the late 1800's, and it remains a huge target of European exploitation on every level to this very day. America was re-named after another European named Amerigo Vespucci, and similarly to Africa, the native indigenous inhabitants of the Americas were exterminated while the land was exploited and colonized. The same story repeats itself in Asia, Australia, Scandinavia, Russia, etc, basically anywhere the European is found, this story has been told and is still being told to this very day. 






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  • Admin on

    Nope. Just steelpans, and we give away the truth for free!

  • Shiver Me Timbers on

    You sell drugs here?

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