The Iskra handpan is offered in many different sound models. Each sound model evokes a different mood, so it is a good idea to listen to each one before ordering an Iskra.  Expand each menu to view a video of that particular sound model.

Handpans are traditionally offered in what are commonly known as ‘Sound Models’.  A sound model is defined by all of the notes offered on a specific handpan.  Generally, sound models are not ‘fully chromatic’ as in most modern musical instruments, such as a piano (fully chromatic means all of the ‘white’ and ‘black’ keys on a piano).  Instead, a sound model will be comprised of a handful of notes taken from the full chromatic western musical scale.  Some sound models will be pentatonic, meaning there are only five unique notes on the handpan, though there may be some notes that have more than one on octave on the handpan.  The pentatonic sound models are the most forgiving for improvisational play, and do not require any musical knowledge to sound good; anyone can pick it up and play!  Other sound models may be less forgiving if they are not pentatonic.

Choosing a sound model is a personal task.  Any particular sound model evokes a ‘mood’.  Some may sound happy and uplifting, while others may be darker and sad sounding.  It is important to listen to all of the available sound models in order to best understand what you would like to play.

Some people may notice that all of the sound models completely exclude at least one given note in a specific octave.  For the Iskra, this note is Bb4.  Unfortunately, Bb4 happens to be near a natural resonant frequency of the cavity of the handpan.  These mashing of frequencies causes that particular note, Bb4, to always sound poorly, no matter how ‘in tune’ it is.  It is simply a problem due to nature and physics!

When you have a chosen a sound model that fits your taste, you can order an Iskra handpan and choose the sound model from the drop-down list on the product page!

Khartoum: (G) C Db E F G Ab C Db
The Khartoum is a darker feeling sound model, resembling middle eastern music based in the harmonic minor modes of music.

Ida: (F) C Db E F G Ab C Db
The Ida is very similar to the Khartoum, maintain a dark, spicy and middle eastern feeling.  The only note that differs from the Khartoum is the central note, which is an F in the case of the Ida, as opposed to the Khartoum which has a G in the center.

Goonkali: (F) C C# F G G# C C# F
The Goonkali is also similar to a middle eastern tuning, maintaining a darker mood, but with a slightly higher range than the Khartoum or Ida, with it’s highest note being an F5.

Harmonic Minor: (G) B C D Eb F G Ab C


Melog-Selisir: (G#) C C# Eb G G# C C# Eb
The Melog-Selisir sound model is one of the most happy and uplifting sound models available.


Citrus: (F) C D E F G C D E


Tarznauyn: (G) D Eb F G Ab B C D


Hijaz Kar: (G) C C# E F G G# B C


D Minor (Kurd / Integral): (D) A Bb C D E F G A
The D Minor sound model, also referred to as a ‘Kurd’ or ‘Integral’, is one of the most common and popular sound models offered on handpans around the world. If you plan on bringing your handpan to the various gatherings around the world to jam with others, you can’t go wrong with this sound model.


Minor Penta: (F) C Eb F Ab C Db Eb F
F Integral: (F) C C# Eb F G G# C C#
The F Integral sound model is a very neutral sound model, similar to the D Minor sound model, but in the key of F minor.

Mystic: (F) C Db F G Ab C Eb F


Pygmy: (F) C Eb F G Ab C Eb F
The Pygmy is another popular sound model, and is generally considered to be a neutral sound model that doesn’t sound very dark, or very happy.


Shunko: (F) C Db Eb F G Ab C Eb
Video Coming Soon.
Triple F: (F) C Eb F G Ab C Db F
The Triple F is very similar to the Pygmy, with only one different note, so it is still generally considered to be a neutral sound model that doesn’t sound very dark, or very happy, but very in the middle of the road emotionally speaking.
Ake Bono: (G) C D Eb G Ab C D Eb


Jibuk: (F#) B C# Eb E F# G# A B
The Jibuk is tuned to a mixolydian mode which sounds happy and uplifting.