History and use The hanging gong is a spiritual instrument, made of metal alloys like those used in church bells and Himalayan brass singing bowls. Gongs originated over 4,000 years ago in Asia. Their ancient uses were for enlightenment and exorcism of negative spirits. Ancient Chinese also used the gong to clear the streets for police processionals and to call peasants in from the fields. The Japanese used the gongs for signaling the start of sumo wrestling competitions.
Ancient gongs came in at least 7 different shapes, and the art of making gongs was veiled in magic. Today’s gongs are flat “tam tams,” bossed gongs (with a slightly raised or knobbed center), and can be seen in other unusual shapes made by artists such as metal crafter Steve Hubback. Gongs are made in China, Thailand, Japan, Italy, Burma, and many other countries.
The most commonly used gongs are Chinese Wind, Chinese Chao, and German made Paiste orchestral gongs.
Paiste gongs are made entirely by hand in Germany of a metal alloy including copper and nickel. Paiste makes nearly 20 planetary gongs, featuring a strong fundamental note tuned to represent a natural harmonic series based on the orbital properties of the Sun, the Earth, the Moon and the other planets as calculated by physicist Hans Cousto. Paiste makes many other fine gongs as well, many of which are used in orchestras worldwide.
The Paiste Earth gong is tuned to the frequency of the Earth as it orbits around the sun–the universal OM. It fundamental note vibrates at 136.1 Hz. — C# in the Indian tradition. This gong speaks to the listener’s heart
Where to buy gongs
Try Andrew at Gongs Unlimited. He has a good variety of interesting and high quality gongs and mallets, great prices, and terrific customer service. He takes plenty of time to answer your questions. Tell him Judy Strauss sent you.