The Gong – June 22nd, New York, NY

Tonight’s Drums & Space is inspired by the gong. I’ve often said that I’m in the transportation business and it is one of the instruments I’ve been using for 50+ years to transport deadheads.

Gongs are psycho-acoustic gateways to heightened states of awareness and consciousness. My favorite place to take you to. When the Gong is played, every cell of your body is vibrating, releasing any tension, emotional and energetic to the surface. 

A gong is a circular metal platelike percussion instrument, usually having a turned-down rim. In most forms it is struck in the center with a felt- or leather-covered beater, producing a sound of either definite or indefinite pitch. Its vibrations issue from the center, in contrast to bells, which vibrate principally at the rim. Gongs may have shallow or deep rims (kettle gongs) and may be bossed (knobbed in the center) or unbossed. Rimless gongs occur occasionally.

Gongs are pictured in China in the 6th century  and were used in Java by the 9th century. (The word gong is Javanese.) A deep-rimmed Roman gong from the 1st or 2nd century  was excavated in Wiltshire, England. Flat gongs are found throughout South and East Asia, and knobbed gongs dominate in Southeast Asia. Flat gongs (gangsa) are used in ensembles of the northern mountains of the Philippines and are struck by hand, like drums, and create resultant melodies through the use of various rhythmic patterns. The kulintang ensembles of the southern Philippines use a rack of tuned, knobbed gongs, but the musicians define pieces through rhythmic patterns rather than specific melodies. The bossed gong chimes of Southeast Asian ensembles may either play melodies or function as time markers, i.e., they define large rhythmic units. In East and Southeast Asian religions, knobbed gongs are used to mark sections of chant or ceremony. Large bossed gong ensembles such as the saing-waing of Myanmar (Burma), pi phat of Thailand, and gamelan of Indonesia continue a rich tradition of concert, theatre, and ceremonial music.

The Western orchestra uses the flat Chinese gong of indefinite pitch (called tam-tam in the West); beginning in the late 20th century, some composers called for such gongs to be played by passing a violin bow along the edge. Occasionally, orchestral music calls for the use of deep-rimmed gong chimes. Acoustically, steel drums of the type originated in Trinidad are multiple-toned gongs.

Kettle Gong is a  percussion instrument of the Bronze Age cultures of China, Southeast Asia, and Indonesia. It was used mainly in rainmaking rites. Some kettle gongs from northern Vietnam are dated between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC. When played, they are suspended so that the striking surface (the head) is vertical.

Gamelan refers to the traditional Indonesian percussion orchestra and to the set of musical instruments used. Consisting primarily of ornate, percussive instruments made of hand-forged metal, the ensemble typically includes xylophones, gongs, gong-chimes, drums, cymbals, string instruments and bamboo flutes. 

Gamelan music follows precise rules and techniques regarding tuning, layout, rhythmic and metric patterns and performance. For instance, the melody is played simultaneously by a group of instruments and multiple instruments may play interlocking parts to form a single rhythm. The music is played by men, women and children of all ages, and is typically performed in religious rituals, ceremonies, traditional theater, festivals and concerts. It is also used for music therapy and is viewed as a means of expression and as a way of establishing a connection between humans and the universe. 

Gamelan is an integral part of Indonesian identity dating back centuries; archaeological evidence of the practice has been found in the relief sculptures of the eighth-century Borobudur temple. Practitioners include vocalists and instrumentalists, as well as instrument-makers and tuners. An important source of national pride, Gamelan continues to be passed down from generation to generation through informal and formal education, including in school and after-school activities.

Thai Gongs:
The khong wong yai (Thai: ฆ้องวงใหญ่, pronounced [kʰɔ́ːŋ woŋ jàj]) is a circle with gongs used in the music of Thailand. It has 16 tuned bossed gongs in a rattan frame and is played with two beaters. The player sits in the center of the circle. It is used in the piphat ensemble to provide the skeletal melody the other instruments of the elaborate ensemble. The gongs are individually tuned with beeswax under the gongs. The khong wong yai can either be played with soft beaters or hard beaters.

It is equivalent to the kong thom in Cambodian music.

Khong Wong Yai can be considered a musical instrument with a long history. Among the instruments used today and it has been an important instrument since ancient times. It is the main instrument of the Thai music band. both in the orchestra and Piphat band The gong has found evidence. By focusing on the majestic drum, the majestic drum was first discovered in southern China near Yunnan and nearby provinces. Continuing to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand pointed out that The throttle drum was the origin of the gong because of the metal used to create it. The metal used to create the drums It is the same alloy as the gong that appears today. In addition to the nature of the metal alloy The evolutionary path of the throttle drum also went through its development as a musical instrument of the same family. But changing the shape that has a direction to come closer to the gong is the discovery of “Kangsadan”, which is made of the same alloy, but the shape is a large circular disc. with a diameter of 2 meters, found at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun Province It is estimated to be around the 13th century.

Percussion is a tool for expanding consciousness through vibration. Looking forward to vibrating an entire stadium tonight.