HandPan Accompaniment: Spotlight on the Singing Saw

Following on from our post on Cas Cas (the percussive instrument favored by Daniel Waples), we continue with what may become a series turning the spotlight on to some of our favourite HandPan accompaniments, with this post on the “Singing Saw”.  And if any instrument, is as equally deserving, in our opinion, of wearing the “Singing Steel” label.  It has to be the Singing Saw.  In fact, the Singing Saw, is also credited, along with such instruments as the Ghatam, and Gamelan, as instruments that were researched by PANArt - leading to the development of the Hang.

Introduced to us by the legendary Dante Bucci, one of the original pioneers of the Hang / HandPan music scene, the Singing Saw, is a beautiful sounding instrument (in our opinion at least), of the idiophone class. More specifically defined as a “Friction Idiophone” - a group of instruments that produce sound by being rubbed either against each other or by means of a non-sounding object (usually a violin bow, in the case of the Singing Saw). Instruments of this type are not very common, possibly the best known examples are the Singing Saw (also known as a “Musical Saw”), and the Nail Violin.




Ethereal, and somewhat melancholic, perhaps strangely, the sound of the Singing Saw often reminds us of “La vie en rose” - by Edith Piaf - but perhaps that’s just us.  And while saws produced specifically for musicians are offered for sale, many musical sawists often simply use standard wood cutting saws, to produce their music. And Dante, was a master of blending these two exquisite singing steel instruments perfectly.  

So that while Dante Bucci, may have tragically passed away mid-2014 - he left behind him a legacy of awesomeness, that will, no doubt, continue to move both HandPan, and Musical Saw performers, to experiment, and push boundaries, for as long as the internet remains...



Other renowned performers on the musical saw include:

Natalia Paruz (AKA: “The Saw Lady”)...


And, Charles Hindmarsh (AKA: "The Yorkshire Musical Saw Player")...



(!) Want to have a try yourself?  Musical saws can be purchased over at Amazon: HERE

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