How can I acquire a Soma?
What is the price of a Soma?
The current batch of standard Soma's are priced at 1850 CHF (without VAT/ sales tax). Soma will only accept CHF or the equivalent of the CHF price in Litecoins.
Extended Range Soma's are priced at 2000 CHF/ 2100 CHF with one or two additional notes, respectively (prices without VAT/ sales tax). "Extended Range" Soma's are marked in the Sound Model section of this page with *Extended Range".
If you pick up your Soma in person at the Soma workshop in Switzerland, 8% Swiss VAT will be added to the price.
If the Soma is shipped, apart from any applicable custom fees, the VAT of the recipient country will be added to the total price of the Soma plus the
price of a hardcase (see below). These fees will be collected by the customs officials in your country.
We advise customers picking-up their Soma to order an Evatek-bag before pick-up. An Evatek protects your Soma better than a soft-bag. If you wish to have your Evatek hardcase custom-designed by artist AnaPaz please get in touch with us at least 2 weeks before pick-up. In such case we will order the Evatek for you and have Ana paint it.
What is the size of a Soma?
A Soma has a diameter of 55cm and a height of 26cm.
Are Soma's shipped?
We prefer people to pick up their Soma in person at our workshop in Switzerland. Shipping can be arranged, however. Soma's will ship in an Evatek hard-case bag which will have to be paid by the customer
with the shipping costs. If you wish to have your bag custom-designed by artist AnaPaz please get in touch with us at least 2 weeks before expected shipping date.
Please be aware that a shipped Soma will incur customs and/or VAT and/or other charges depending on where it is shipped to (see also above).
What scales can a Soma have?
Typically, popular standard scales feature 9 notes on a Soma-size handpan and 8 notes on a smaller Somita-size handpan.
Extended Range Somas will have one or two more notes than a standard scale Soma. They are marked with *Extended Range" in the Sound Models section.
Sound-models which feature a Bb/A# note will only be made on the smaller-size Somita. The Somita is more player and travel-friendly. It has less space to place notes, however. Hence, a Soma has usually space for one more note than a Somita.
How do I know which scale to choose?
How are Soma's and Somita's named?
The first two letters in the brackets before the scale name indicate the note of the central tonefield and the lowest note on the ring of notes around the central tone field, respectively. For example an "(E/G) Hari Nata" has a central tonefield in E and starts the scale with a low G. The name in this example ("Hari Nata") is the official name of the particular interval between the notes of the scale. The official names can be found here.
Is the bottom hole tuned?
The bottom hole usually has two or three tuned frequencies forming a chord that fits the scale of the Soma.
Does my Soma rust?
Although Soma's are chemically heat treated to prevent rust, they may do so under longer-term exposure to humid and salty conditions (e.g. places close to the beach, places with extended rainy periods, summer months in general, etc.). To keep your Soma rust-free we advice you to wipe your Soma with a (micro-fiber) cloth after EVERY playing session. Human sweat - e.g. from the hands - is highly rust inducing. NEVER store your Soma in a bag. Use a bag only for transportation. Depending on the climate you are living in, careful application of biological products such as Phoenix Handpan Oil or just common coconut oil onto the outside of the Soma may be necessary (wipe off any visible residue of the oil after application, though). At the latest when your hands leave visible fingerprints on the Soma, some oil should be applied. If rust develops, please send us a picture and ask us for advice. Here's an good article on the topic.
Does a Soma need to be retuned?
To ensure stability of tuning, every Soma is tuned many times from the beginning of the building process until finalisation. In between the tuning rounds heat is applied to redistribute and relax stress concentrations. Nevertheless, even the most stable built handpans are drifting in tune over time. However, as all notes simultaneously tend to drift sharp with playing, usually a handpan stays in tune in itself.
Most hobby players in the handpan community do not feel a need to have their instruments retuned in the first 2-3 years. For professional musicians who play their handpans often and who would like to play along other instruments tuned to an exact pitch (e.g. A4=440hz), a tune-up every 6-18 months may be necessary. The first retune for a Soma is free of charge (excluding shipping to and from the Soma workshop). Additional tune ups will cost between 60 - 120 Euros (depending on time needed for retuning).
Retuning is not to be confused with repairing a damaged instrument. In this case other prices and conditions apply. Please contact us in such case.
Can I sell or swap my Soma?
Yes, you may. However, we strongly urge you to not buy and sell just for profit.
Where can I find more information about handpans, playing techniques, workshops and gatherings?
There are many useful groups on Facebook which aim at connecting players and share the handpan passion.
Nadine Stanilewicz offers excellent workshop's for beginners and intermediate players in the German speaking world.
What does "Soma" stand for?
SOMA (or Som) is a Sanskrit term used in the ancient Rig Veda. One passage describes it as follows:
"Som (good fruit containing food not any intoxicating drink)
apama (we drink you) amŕtā abhūmâ (you are elixir of life)
jyótir âganma (achieve physical strength or light of god)
ávidāma devân (achieve control over senses);
kíṃ nūnám asmân kṛṇavad árātiḥ (in this situation, what our internal enemy can do to me)
kím u dhūrtír amṛta mártyasya (god, what even violent people can do to me)"