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Gong History

Historical Elements

It is presumed by historians that gongs were made and used before the second millennium B.C.  They are the oldest and most genuine musical instruments of South Eastern Asia.  But they are not noted in Chinese history until about 500 A.D.  Chinese history attributes gongs to the HSI YU nation, located between Burma and Tibet.

It is believed by historians that Java, Annam, Burma, and China were the main gong producing centers.  It is known that these centers produced at least seven gong forms and corresponding sound-structures.  Therefore, Gongs have for a long time been at the center of thoughtful system of sound and music.

Gong making in Asia, like bell making in Medieval Russia, was a true ancient family secret. Gong makers' knowledge was considered so set-apart, that they believed the making of a successful gong requires the assistance of higher powers.  Indeed, this is true - whether it was the higher power of the universe, it's Creator or both, creating a gong requires forces and powers that human beings did not invent.  The process of gong making is so intense that gong artisans understood they were expose to powerful forces that most people are never exposed to.

For centuries, a gong was a symbol of success and status among Asian families - and still is to a degree.  

Now, how fortunate are we today to have access to brilliant gongs so easily! 

Gongs and gong bowls in the Tibetan spiritual tradition have the deepest links with the cosmos and the spiritual world.  It was not unusual for monks to use gongs to invoke spirits, maybe bad spirits (this is not recommended but, nonetheless, part of gong history).  

Gongs Uses

There are many uses for a gong.  Both in ancient times and today gongs have been used for essentially the same purposes: to communicate; make announcements; make music; accompany life's events; meditate and heal.

For centuries or longer gongs have been an essential element in celebrations, funerals, theatre & songs. The gong was an orchestral instrument in the palaces and Asian high society.  People enjoyed the rich musical vibrations of gongs in private concerts, residences and orchestras.  As European orchestras have a violin section it was not uncommon for Asian Orchestras to have set-ups with eighteen different gongs.

Gongs are no longer in Asia alone.  They been traveling around the world for centuries.  In Europe, gongs have been used in orchestras since around 1790 (Mozart was about 35). European orchestras often called flat gongs "Tam Tam" and bossed gongs "Gong".  But no what what you call you can when you bang it you will know what the term "GONG" continues to resound around the globe.

Gongs, a Timeless Art-Drum

Gongs are a true & timeless art-drum.  The testament of the greatness of gongs are the facts that they have been around so long and that they are more popular today than ever before.  A gong is no hulahoop! rather it is a masterful work of art that proves it's quality across many lifetimes.  A gong is an heirloom.

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