Tap into your playful essence and Follow The Sound
October 25, 2020
Gongs have been used on this earth for nearly 4,000 years. Dating back to as early as the 6th century in China, they are likely the world’s oldest instrument. While you’ll find that gongs are still most prevalent in the East, they are starting to take hold on meditation, yoga, spiritual, and sound healing practices here in the West. Something only endures for four centuries if it works to make heal and sustain the human mind and body.
The various types of gongs you will find throughout the world are built to serve as sound healing and meditation tools. They are also incorporated into spiritual practices as well. If you go to any Buddhist temple in the East, one of the first things you will notice is a gong or bell in the middle of the courtyard. These are primarily used to create harmonic resonances within the community, much the way they produce harmony within the minds and bodies of the individual. They are tools to assist in the balance of a human life.
You’ll find that all gongs are different. It doesn’t matter what type of metal they’re made from or the process by which they’re built, each and every gong plays and sounds different. This is also very dependent on the person playing the gong. The vibrations, the feedback, what you get out of playing the gong is probably not going to be the same as the next person. That’s the beauty of this instrument.
This is the most common type of gong. Our titanium gongs, for example, have holes in the top that allows a cord or rope to suspend them from a stand. You can even hang these gongs on a flower pot hook on the back porch if you feel like playing outside.
Variations of the suspended gongs include the chau gong, which is most common in the West and sometimes referred to as a bullseye gong. The large chau gong is called a tam-tam, also sometimes known as the Chinese gong, which you will most often find in symphony orchestras. Other types are the Pasi gong and the Sheng Kwong gong. These gongs have been traditionally made with bronze where they’re heated to extreme temperatures and hammered into shape. Most have an absolutely beautiful tone.
And now we have titanium gongs, which are relatively new in the gong world. When we say new, we mean 4,000 years of bronze versus just the last 60 years we’ve seen the technology to manufacture titanium arrive. The combination of its resonant affinity with the human body (95% of reconstructive surgeries are performed using titanium) and its ability to create a range of crystal clear tones make it a logical choice to build gongs with.
The knob that protrudes from the center of the disc is why these are called nipple gongs. Sometimes they are also referred to as boss gongs for their central raised boss. They are built using different metals than other gongs, which gives them a tone with less shimmer.
The nipple gong is perhaps most prominent in East and Southeast Asia where they are largely used for worship. Buddhist temples often have one more of these gongs. In fact, gong making is a sacred part of some Buddhist cultures.
Also known as singing or meditation bowls, these are essentially gongs in the shape of bowls. Like most other gongs, they are made of bronze and emit sounds by being either struck or rubbed by the user. Instead of producing a traditional gong sound, they sound more like bells.
These singing bowls have a rich history steeped in meditation, worship, and spiritual development in Tibetan and Eastern traditions. But like other gongs, they are constantly making their way West.
Playing the gong, and the benefits you get from doing so, is becoming a global phenomenon that's growing exponentially. It's an instrument that anybody can play, which makes it very available and accessible to anyone willing to give it a try. We think you’ll love the benefits.
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