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Hanago: New Musical Instrument

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

A new 16-string, single-fret acoustic instrument called the Hanago has launched on Kickstarter. It's designed to combine the best aspects of piano and guitar to make learning to play easy, while also laying down the foundations of music theory.

The Hanago is already on sale in South Korea via music brand Koaura, and is now launching to US string pickers. The easily portable instrument - made from a beech wood core and mahogany base - can be held like a smartphone and the strings plucked with thumbs, placed on a lap and played using one hand while the other cups the top or laid on its side and strummed like a guitar.

The Hanago puts 16 full notes and 12 semi-tones within reach
The Hanago puts 16 full notes and 12 semi-tones within reach | Credit: Koaura

It's being aimed at everyone who would love to play music but are bamboozled by the complexities of doing so on piano or guitar. The 16 guitar strings are tuned to match notes from a piano keyboard – running from G3 through C4 and up beyond the octave to A5. This should make learning as easy as "do-re-mi" while offering familiarity to accomplished keyboard wizards looking for something a little different.

Kickstarter pledges currently start at US$99 – a saving of 34 percent on the expected retail price – and though the usual crowdfunding caveats apply, if all goes to plan with the already funded campaign, shipping is estimated to start in June.


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