The unmistakable sound of a gong can accentuate the end of a song or phrase within music, or be a reminder of the cultural significance of instruments within spiritual circles. These unique instruments are a symbol of Asian culture and are deeply tied to the lives of those within countries like Japan, China and in South Asia. Gongs were once used as a means of communication over long distances, and represent success within the lives of those cultures.
The process of manufacturing a gong is a testament to the dedication of those who take on the craft. Gongs are made through a complicated method that allows the alloy to be heated, lathed, hammered and cooled. It then goes through a final round of heating and cooling that allows the entire instrument to blend together in a manner that produces a wide range of harmonious tones when struck. The metals used in gongs may vary, but most are made from bronze and can measure anywhere from 10 inches to 40 inches in diameter. Sizes do vary according to manufacturer and style of gong.
Within music today, the gong plays a special role that helps to produce an emotional connection to the music being played. The striking sound of a gong vibrates on a wide range of frequencies, and it is this ability to touch a myriad of sounds that has caused the gong to also be considered an instrument within healing circles, as well. In a sense, this connection returns the gong back to its roots, when it was played during festivals, weddings and celebrations, invoking good feelings and marking special occasions.
Throughout its history, the gong has remained one of the more visible instruments played in an orchestra, band or during celebrations or ceremonies. These instruments are not only beautiful to behold, but can be a notable aspect of any musical composition.