Information about buying a Gubal

Author: Michael Paschko
© Copyright by the author – All rights reserved
Published on January 11th, 2014
Last Update: March 27th, 2018
Original language: German – English translation by the author
Zur deutschen Version dieses Dokuments

This article provides available information about buying a Gubal at time of the last update indicated above.

In summer 2013 PANArt introduced a new sound sculpture, the Gubal, a development based on the Hang. On the bottom side it has the Gugel in place of the Gu. This is a hemispherical extension of the vessel, lowering the Helmholtz resonance to Eb2.

The Gu opening is located on the upper side of the instrument in place of the Ding. The Gu neck merges into the Ringding, a ring-shaped, flattened area around the Gu. It is tuned with the partial tones Eb3, Bb3, Eb4 and G5. The Ringding is also used to set the air inside the Gubal vessel in motion to stimulate the Helmholtz resonance (Eb2). In combination with the partial tones of the Ringding it produces a strong bass called the Gung. With the hand in the Gu opening the pitch of the Helmholtz resonance can be lowered. This way different bass tones can be played.

The tone circle of the Gubal consists of seven tone fields with the notes Bb3, C4, Db4, Eb4, F4, G4 and Bb4.

You need good headphones or speakers for the playback of the video.

In a pioneering phase in 2013 about 100 players got the first prototypes of the Gubal. Those instruments cost € 2400, including case and backpack.

In winter and spring 2013/2014 the tuners at PANArt were working on modifications for the refinement of the Gubal. These were presented during the Gubal Days, May 16th to 18th, 2014 in Bern. Owners of a Gubal prototype were invited to this event. About 60 of them attended and had the opportunity to exchange the prototype with one of the refined Gubals. These instruments have a bottom shell made of thicker sheet steel. In addition the PANArt tuners succeeded in tuning two further modes of the ringding to the harmonic partial G5. This strengthens the central sound of the instrument, the Gung.

In order to refine this enhanced tuning technique the PANArt tuners announced a “Gubal break” for several months. This implied not selling instruments to new customers during this period. People interested in receiving further information about the Gubal were asked to contact a special email address to be kept up to date.

After the end of the “Gubal break” PANArt offered a Gubal for sale to those who had sent an email in the meantime. Due to a high number of buying requests PANArt was only able to make appointments with part of those interested in buying a Gubal. The customers were invited to the PANArt workshop in Bern for a day of information and introduction to Gubal playing. During this visit they were able to buy an instrument.

On October 20th, 2014, PANArt published news about the current situation on its website. The tuners of PANArt explained in this text how the Gubal and Gubal playing differ from the Hang and Hang playing. They pointed out that it was currently not possible to order a Gubal and kindly asked people to desist from sending emails or letters to PANArt, but to keep informed through PANArt’s website external link.

While the PANArt tuners very rarely played the Hang in the public, they have published a number of videos to provide impressions of the Gubal and the way it is played. You can find them on PANArt’s Youtube channel external link.

Another helpful article to understand the Gubal is From the Hang to the Gubal external link published on PANArt’s website. Deeper insights into the Hang and the Gubal can be found in the book Hang – Sound Sculpture external link, also published in German external link and French external link.

A further announcement about the curent situation from May 9th, 2015 reported that the focus of PANArt’s work was to develop new Pang instruments and Pang music. “Currently it is not possible to order an instrument”, the announcement said.

On January 22nd, 2016, the PANArt team gave an account of its state of work: Pang music – the new art form from PANArt external link. Contact information for people insterested in PANArt’s instruments are also included in this article. The Pang instruments at that time were the Hang Urgu, the Hang Gudu, the Gubal and three Pang string instruments. A number of new videos on PANArt’s Youtube channel external link show how they are played together in the Pang ensemble. Meanwhile other members of the Pang instruments, the Hang Bal and the Hang Gede, were introduced.

In 2017 the price of the Gubal was CHF 3200 respectively € 2900 including case, backpack, cleaning set and 8% VAT. Similar to the Hang since 2008, the Gubal purchase is sealed by an agreement to prevent speculation.

The most up to date information are available at Instruments external link on PANArt’s website.