The gong is an instrument many people associate with being on the earth for a long time. Its origins go back to 2000 BC, but it became most popular in its use in 6th century China during the Tang dynasty. After 300 years of staying in China alone, it eventually spread throughout Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe. The gong proved to be an important instrument as it announced the arrival of important figures and gathered men together for battle. The gong is considered to be a percussion instrument because it must be struck to produce sound.
I chose this instrument because of the long history behind it.
The gong’s original purpose was not meant for music, but as the years have gone by, it has been incorporated into musical acts. The gong can now be found making orchestral music. The gong can be considered to have two parts – the gong itself and the mallet it is struck with. The gong as a whole is made up of a mixture of copper, tin, and bronze.
As there are two main types of gongs with a variety of different gongs there can be, the mixture of the metals will be different depending on shape and type. They normally have a raised nipple or middle section of the gong where it is normally struck. It is played by simply being struck by a mallet or bamboo stick.
Since most people do not use gongs for musical purposes, the gong cannot be heard being used in popular songs we know today.
Only a few famous artists have incorporated the instrument into their music. Someone that has is Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody, in which the song ends with the clashing sound of a tam-tam’s thundering noise. The band Pink Floyd also included the sound of the gong in their songs ‘ A Saucerful of Secrets and ‘ Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.’ Gong, which is a space rock group, was named after the instrument.
Throughout the essay, we have seen the original purpose for the gong reflect its lack of use throughout mainstream music. Although it has been used by a few well-known musicians, it has mainly remained unused by the music community, except for orchestral music. Throughout my research of this essay, I have learned that there are many different types of gongs, contrary to the one type I had always thought of. I also was able to find out exactly how old these instruments date back to. The gong has proved itself to be a useful instrument throughout its long time of being created.