Chinese gong is a percussion instrument mainly composed of a circular metal disc and was considered a popular instrument in Chinese culture. chinese gong is mainly played by using mallets. Mallet is one of the percussion beaters with a large-sized felted head attached at one end. They are considered the main instrument used in the traditional music of many countries, including Indonesia, Burma, China, etc.
Which material is used to make Chinese gongs?
Metals are usually used to make Chinese gongs. The most common material used to manufacture the gongs is bronze. It is the most prioritized material used to manufacture the gongs of Malay, Balinese, Sundanese, Javanese, and Chinese. They are also manufactured using other materials, such as copper-based alloys and brass.
How are Chinese gongs struck?
Mallets are especially used to strike the gongs producing a high resonant sound. They are mainly composed of wood having a bulbous felted tip. Drumsticks are also used to strike the gongs by some percussionists. But striking the gong with a drumstick can result in the production of sound with less resonance.
What are the main types of Chinese gong?
Chinese going is divided into various types based on their construction. The main categories of Chinese gong are summarized below.
- Bowl gongs
- Nipple gongs
- Suspended gongs
Bowl gongs are also designated as singing bowls. As their name implies, their shape looks like small bowls. The bowl gongs are usually played by placing them on cushions or small pillows. After placing on cushions, they are rubbed or struck. But, the sound produced by the bowl gongs is not un-pitched like the gong sound produced by the other gong types. They produce a sound similar to the sound of a bell.
Another name commonly used for the nipple gongs is the bossed gongs. They are composed of a metal disc with a knob or a raised boss in the middle of the disc. They are mainly popular in a traditional Filipino musical genre called kulintang. They are present all over the world, especially in Buddhist temples.
Suspended gongs are flat gongs featuring a circular disc. The circular disc possesses holes located at the top of outer circumferences. The gong is attached to the frame through a cord that runs through the holes in a circular disc. As a result, the gong hangs suspended. A mallet made of wood is used to strike the suspended gong by percussionists. The striking of the suspended gong produces an indefinite pitch. It is the most frequently used gong type.
Why do the Chinese use gongs?
The Chinese gong is the earliest musical instrument in Chinese culture. It mainly expresses spirituality and social ranking. Gong is also used to symbolize their summon spirits and spiritual power.
The Chinese gong is the earliest musical instrument used in Chinese culture, mainly serving as their status symbol. But, now, gongs are no more than decoration pieces. But, you can buy them from specific departmental musical stores or a specific online website.