For thousands of years, across countries and cultures, harmonious sound has been used to soothe the mind and emotions. Sound is one of the oldest forms of healing known to man. Some believe the effects go much deeper than just a sense of emotional well-being, that harmonious sounds can have a healing effect on the body at a cellular level.
Gongs can be traced back to the Bronze Age, around 3500 BC, in what was Mesopotamia. Gongs then expanded to China, Burma, Indonesia, and regions of Vietnam. Mentions of gong sounds can be found in some translations of the Bible. Gongs were used during the Roman empire. An excavation in Wiltshire, England unearthed a gong dating back to around AD 100, early in Roman occupation of England. The first written documentation of gongs appeared in China in AD 500, during the reign of Emperor Hsuan Wu.
Chinese cultures used gongs for ceremonial and healing rituals. Touching a gong was said to bring fortune, happiness, and strength. In Taoist and Buddhist culture, playing bowls and gongs were used for deep meditation, worship, and spiritual development. Many sacred ancient Chinese Gongs were inscribed with the ‘Tai Loi’ symbol meaning ‘happiness has arrived’.
The gong is a powerful instrument resonating with many harmonics from its fundamental note. When played, gongs produce the “Om” sound, which some say is the original sound of the universe.