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Sacred Sound Tools

Copyright 2011 9ways
Digital Image by Edan Michener

Gongs are percussion instruments of either definite or indefinite pitch, in the form of a metal plate usually made of brass or bronze, and are of two types; hanging (vertical), or resting (horizontal). They are either flat with a clear sound, convex with a supple wall, or convex with a nipple or knob with a strong wall and definite pitch. They may be described as being a wind, chau, tam-tam, nipple, cup, bowl, plate, rin, orchestral, symphonic, whirling, ascending, or descending type of gong. The major gong centers of the world are China, Burma, Java, Indonesia, and Turkey. Communities of gongmakers exist in Sumatra, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Tibet, and India. Gongmaking was known to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Mongols, and Uighers. The gong is mentioned in writings during the 6th century in the time of the Emperor Hsuan Wu, originating in the country of His Yu in the western area in what was the Jang Kingdom between Tibet and Burma. In 496AD there is a mention in Chinese writings that a Gong came to the Imperial Palace from East Turkmenistan via the Silk Road. Evidence suggests that gongmaking was known as early as 3000BC and ancient alchemy sources put the gong as far out as 16000BC.

Today the alloy formula of a gong is called B-20 which means 80% copper and 20% tin. Gongmakers can use an alloy recipe, which may contain 70-80% copper and 20-30% tin, with the addition of silver, lead, nickel, iron, zinc, or meteorite depending upon the tradition of the gongmaking. Chinese gongs generally are made of a 75.52% copper, 22.43% tin, .26% lead, and .23% zinc, .81% iron alloy. The Zildjian Company of Turkey uses a Bronze Age formula that Avedis the alchemist from Constantinople brought to Istanbul in 1623. Gongs were introduced to the European orchestra in 1791. Piaste the cymbal maker from Zurich, Switzerland keeps a Bronze Age formula for gongs, which they still use today. Over the past decade, gong making in Turkey has been revitalized by numerous small gong making businesses offering handcrafted gongs.

Gongs are considered to be a good luck charm, and touching a gong is believed to bring a person happiness, good health, and strength. In India it is believed that the sound of a gong created the worlds, and was the primal sound of OM. The gong is a powerful and transformational instrument of sound, which has been used for ritual, ceremony, prayer, and meditation since the Bronze Age. Its sound is relaxing and calming, centering and energizing, transforming and healing. The gong resonates all the cells of the body simultaneously and is useful in resolving emotional and physical dissonance.

Copyright 2011 9ways
Floor Gong from Japan

Copyright 2013 9ways
Gansadahn or KeeZee from Burma

Copyright 2011 9ways
Rin Gong from Japan

Copyright 2011 9ways
Chinese Moon Gong

Bao Gong
Bao Gong: China

Wind Gong
Wind Gong: China

Xiang Jia: Copyright 2011 9ways
Xiang Jia Gong: China

Gongs from Steve Weiss Music

Gongs made in Turkey by Bosphorus

Gongs made in Italy by UFIP

Gongs made in China by Hubei

Gongs made in Germany by Paiste of Switzerland

Gongs made in Germany by Meinl

Gongs from Sabian

Gongs from Zildjian

Handcrafted Turkish Gongs by Agean

Handmade Gongs from Istanbul

Canadian/Chinese partnership made Gongs by Dream Cymbals

Custom Gongs from Steve Hubback

Custom Gongs from Matt Nolan

Custom Gongs from Michael Paiste

Gongs from Gongs Unlimited

Gongs from Andy's Music in Chicago

Gongs from the Memphis Drum Shop

Gongs made in Wuhan China by Golden Bird

Glass Gongs by Elemental Design

Gong Training with Mitch Nur, PhD

copyright 2012 by 9ways