Burmese Bronze Gong is made with 7 metal Bronze which is 40 cm, weights around 2.2kg.
The Burmese gong has influenced other gong types in this region and is very similar to those found in Thailand, so they are often grouped together. Although there are several types of Burmese gong, the most common are the temple gongs and the triangular-shaped Kyeezee or ‘spinning’ gong.
The shape of the Burmese gong is one of the most recognizable. They are normally made from bronze and have a prominent round boss sitting on a slightly convex curving face with the edge of the boss being slightly recessed.
There is a prominent lip moving over to a gently inwardly sloping rim which is deep usually 1.5″ (3cm) to 5″ (12cm) depending on the size of the gong. The oxidized layer is left on the metal and can either be slate grey, black or bottle green in color. The oxidized layer is often scraped to reveal various patterns, with lotus flower petals or starflower mandala patterns being the most common.
Over the past fifteen years or so, Burmese gongs have become much more widely available in the West. This is partly due to the withdrawal of the tuned gongs made by Paiste and the affordability of the Burmese gong. Having said that, the prices are now rising and they are becoming quite expensive.
One thing to bear in mind when playing these gongs is that they need to be played with padded beaters and played quietly. They have cast gongs and can crack if played with a hand beater or struck with any force. The sound of the gong is a lovely low ‘dong’ with little overtones and no splash. The decay is fairly short-lived and lasts the same length of time whether struck forte or piano.
The ‘Kyeezee’ is a triangular-shaped piece of bronze or brass, often decorated and carved and quite thick in cross-section. It is suspended on a cord at its midpoint. When it is struck, it has a piercing bell-like tone and spinning the Kyeezee gives a warbling effect. They are often used in meditation.
Gong – Introduction
A gong is an East and Southeast Asian musical percussion instrument that takes the form of a flat, circular metal disc that is hit with a mallet. The gong traces its roots back to the Bronze Age around 3500 BC.
The term gong originated in Java. Scientific and archaeological research has established that Burma, China, Java, and Annam were the four main gong manufacturing centers of the ancient world.
The gong later found its way into the Western World in the 18th century when it was also used in the percussion section of a Western-style symphony orchestra.
A form of bronze cauldron gong is known as a resting bell was widely used in ancient Greece and Rome, for instance in the famous Oracle of Dodona, where disc gongs were also used.
Types of Gong
Gongs broadly fall into one of three types: Suspended gongs are more or less flat, circular discs of metal suspended vertically by means of a cord passed through holes near to the top rim.
Bossed or nipple gongs have a raised center boss and are often suspended and played horizontally. Bowl gongs are bowl-shaped and rest on cushions.
They may be considered a member of the bell category. Gongs are made mainly from bronze or brass but there are many other alloys in use.
Sound of Gong
Gongs produce two distinct types of sound. A gong with a substantially flat surface vibrates in multiple modes, giving a “crash” rather than a tuned note.
This category of gong is sometimes called a tam-tam to distinguish it from the bossed gongs that give a tuned note.
In Indonesian gamelan ensembles, some bossed gongs are deliberately made to generate in addition a beat note in the range from about 1 to 5 Hz. The use of the term “gong” for both these types of instruments is common.
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