A gong is an impact idiophone , i.e. an immediately struck, self-sounding body of sound that serves as a musical or signaling instrument. It consists of a circular metal plate, which is suspended vertically swinging freely at the edge or lying horizontally on a frame at the edges. The vibrations that are decisive for sound generation increase towards the center. In contrast to this, when a bell is suspended at the apex, the vibrations are greatest in the lower edge area.
According to the common etymology , gong is an onomatopoeic word from the Javanese language . This assessment seems a bit narrow, as gong is also used in most other Austronesian languages . It also contradicts the fact that Indonesians have a keen sense for onomatopoeic language use and that the syllable go-ng does not reproduce the typical floating echo of a Javanese humpback gong. It is probably a later adoption in Javanese. According to another derivation, possibly also tinged with local patriotism, gong is said to go back to Thai khong . In a Chinese chronicle from 517 BC From the Zhou dynasty , gong was the root of the seven-step scale.
In ancient Javanese literature, gong is not used , but gubar for a metal idiophone of unknown form. It should have been a hanging gong for the war effort, i.e. with a correspondingly loud sound. An actual sound imitation is the Balinese word girr for the sound of a gong; Balinese people refer to their various gamelan ensembles as gong with a corresponding addition .
The old Chinese character gu ("sounding short") of the Sui - (581–618) and Tang dynasties (618–907) denoted fur drums in general, but not idiophones. Together with the symbol tong ("long sounding"), tong-gu stood for large, long-lingering skin drums with a metal body. Presumably kettle drums of the naqqaras type were meant. The Javanese word could have emerged from tong-gu onomatopoeic via gu-ng : gu would be the short beat on the fur drum and ng the metallic aftertaste.
Gongs come in different sizes and shapes, the two main categories are flat gongs and humpback gongs . The former consist of a flat, slightly curved or corrugated plate that is bent at the edge. Heavily curved, bowl-shaped or vessel -shaped plates become metal drums , almost U-shaped containers are called kettle gongs . The humpback gongs , which are widespread in large parts of Southeast Asia, are of greatest importance ; Humpback gongs are dependent on the diameter and, in contrast to flat gongs, can be produced with a certain pitch.
The western orchestra usually includes a large, flat gong with an average diameter of 100 centimeters, a bent, narrow edge and an indefinite pitch. The player strikes it in the middle or slightly outside with a gong mallet. Humpback gongs, which belong to the melody-leading instruments in Southeast Asia, are struck in the middle. The head of the mallet is made of felt, wood, metal or plastic. Most gongs are rolled and hammered from a bronze alloy .
A gong game combines several gongs of different pitches in a frame construction. Cymbals are similar to flat gongs, but do not have a bent edge and are only struck against each other on the outer edge or in pairs.
The instrument names selslim and meziltajim , which appear several times in the Old Testament , probably refer to cymbals. In the Song of Songs the standard translation says "if I were a roaring ore or a noisy drum" (1 Corinthians 13: 1), in other translations "ore" is rendered with "gong" at this point. Presumably there was at least a gong-like percussion instrument in ancient Greece . In Greek myths, young men hit metal discs to drown out the screams of child Zeus . The Romans owned hand bells, gongs and metal discs ( discus ) that hung from a cord pulled through a central hole and served as signaling instruments. A Roman gong unearthed between 1877 and 1882 in the county of Wiltshire , southwest England, dates to the 1st or 2nd century AD .
The oldest Chinese kettle gongs date from pre-Christian times. Jaap Kunst (1956) takes the view that the gong spread in the Hellenistic period (from the 4th century BC) from the eastern Mediterranean to China. He took as its origin the echeion , which was struck in ancient Greek rituals of the dead , which was perhaps a flat gong or a striking plate. To support this assumption, he traces the name of the Sassanid lute barbat back to the Greek word barbitos for another stringed instrument. The form of the Sassanid lute was based on the Chinese pipa . An early grave find of a flat gong from the Guangxi region is dated to the Han period (206 BC –220 AD). It measures 22 centimeters in diameter in the flat center and 32 centimeters including the sloping edge. The gong was hung on three rings drawn through the edge. It is not known whether there was a relationship between the older kettle gongs and the other types of gong. Other Chinese gongs had been in use since the early 6th century and, according to the Tongdian encyclopedia (completed 801), were supposed to have been introduced from Central Asia . In Chinese sources, gongs appear under the collective term luo from the 9th century , a prefix characterizes a certain type of gong ( shaluo, zhengluo ) or refers to the region of origin. The flat gongs with narrow edges that are common in today's Chinese music are already depicted in the treatise Yue shu (around 1100) and are called zheng, tongzheng or tongluo .
François-Joseph Gossec's Marche lugubre (1791) on the death of Mirabeau is considered the oldest use of a gong in a Western orchestral work . This was followed by Daniel Steibelt 's opera Romeo and Juliet , premiered in Paris in 1793 , Jean-François Lesueur's opera Ossian, ou les Bardes from 1804, Gaspare Spontini's opera La vestale from 1807, the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini, premiered in 1831, and the opera Robert le diable (1831 ) by Giacomo Meyerbeer . Tamtams have a special musical function in the finale of Tchaikovsky 's 6th Symphony, which was premiered in 1893, and in Edward Elgar's oratorio The Dream of Gerontius from 1900.
In First Construction (in Metal) of 1939, John Cage demands twelve humpback gongs, four gongs resting on cushions, a gong that is immersed in a tub full of water, and a tam-tam. In Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna by Pierre Boulez (1975), a percussionist plays seven humpback gongs and another seven graded tam-tams.
The gong can be a supplementary part of the drums in popular music , in the classical orchestra a hanging gong is usually played based on the model of the Chinese tam-tam . The tam-tam of the western classical orchestra has an approximate diameter of 90 to 100, in rare cases up to 150 centimeters. Percussion ensembles create effects with it by hitting it off-center. Flat gongs are also used in concert or therapeutically in New Age music to create a lasting soundscape. Melodic or rhythmic music is not intended here.
In the Japanese ceremonial court music Gagaku , the bowl-shaped gong shōko is struck with two wooden sticks. It is related to the Chinese gong zhenggu and was preserved as a derivative of the medieval Chinese gongs.
In northern China there is still the bowl-shaped gong dangdang with a diameter of 15 centimeters, mentioned in the 16th century , which is played in villages in the Hebei province and hangs in a small frame with legs. Ten or more such gongs, tuned diatonic in a portable frame, are called yunluo ("cloud gong"). Another small gong from southern China is the nine centimeter tall jiaoluo (" shouting gong") held by hand on a string , and even smaller is the xiangzhan (six centimeters, "resonance cup") in Fujian Province .
Special curved gongs with a flat center produce a pitch that changes after being struck. In Peking Opera and other Chinese opera styles, the xiaoluo , a small gong with a diameter of 22 centimeters, is held by the edge with the fingertips and played with a wooden mallet, the tone increasing after being struck. The slightly larger gong daluo , at 30 centimeters, hangs on a cord, its tone decreases after being struck . The two were in the 16./17. It was first used in the Kunqu Opera in the 19th century .
For several indigenous peoples of the Igorot in the mountainous areas of the northern Philippine island of Luzon , flat bronze gongs called gangsa are the only musical instruments traditionally used only in ceremonies. Each gong is struck individually by a musician with his hands or a stick. Often there are ensembles with four to seven gongs that are played to accompany dances or by the dancers themselves.
For the Indian music flat gongs are typical, which are usually beaten in popular religious music, but no mogul gong. These include, for example, the plate-shaped gong jagate ( Kannada ) made of brass or iron with a wide, right-angled edge. It is used at the Yakshagana dance theater in Karnataka . The diameter of the jagate is just under 20 centimeters, it is held by hand hanging on a string and beaten with a mallet ( kolu ), which consists of a wooden stick and a thick cotton head. Smaller versions are also called gante . A preform of Indian flat gongs is a thick, circular striking disc made of cast bronze, which is called semakkalam in Tamil Nadu . The semakkalam is struck by beggars, members of certain castes and by Hindu pilgrims during the procession and in the temples as a clock with a wooden stick. Ghari ( Sanskrit ) could also have referred to such a disc or a functional term for percussion instruments of any kind. Other current names for Indian flat gongs are ghariyaval ( Hindi ), segandi ( Tamil ) or seganta ( Telugu ).
In the extreme northeast of India, humpback gongs, bowl-shaped gongs with a wavy rim and flat gongs with beveled edges are common, the latter among the Mizo (who gave the state of Mizoram its name) and the Garo of Meghalaya . The Garo use six flat and curved gongs of different sizes , called rang , with a diameter of 11 to 32 centimeters for making music and for religious rituals. Possession of ranking is a sign of prosperity. All rang are held in hand and beaten with a mallet, they serve as an accompaniment to the tubular drums dama , kram or natik . The rang agong produces a low note, the rang bisa a high note .
A rare flat gong in Yemeni music that consists of a copper plate is the sahn nuhasi . The Minangkabau in Sumatra use a similar flat plate (Indonesian dulang ) in a musical environment that is otherwise characterized by humpback gongs for sitting dances .
Gongs are used as signaling instruments in schools (indicating the start or end of lessons), during boxing matches (indicating the start or end of a round), in front of loudspeaker announcements in train stations or as time signals on radio and television. In the Catholic liturgy they are a warning sign for elevation in the celebration of mass .
The main area of distribution for humpback gongs is in Southeast Asia. Single gong or Gong games, which consist of several juxtaposed or hanging gongs and are used as melody instruments are characteristic of the Hsaing-waing - ensembles in the Burma music, for Thai Piphat - orchestra, the Cambodia Pinpeat- and Mohori - orchestra for Borneo , some Indonesian islands like Sumatra and especially for the Javanese and Balinese gamelan as well as the Kulintang music style of the southern Philippine islands. The gong ensembles Kulintangan and Engkerumong in the Malaysian northern part of Borneo are related to the Kulintang . The melody-leading row of humpback gongs is rhythmically supplemented in these ensembles by individual hanging humpback gongs such as bandai , tawak, canang and gong agung . The western border of this largely contiguous area extends beyond Myanmar to the Tibetan-Burman language groups of north-east India. There, across borders from Manipur and Mizoram to Myanmar and in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the large single gong dahpi and a set of three gongs dapu are common. In the case of the Thado (Thadou) of Manipur, such gongs are part of the bride price.
Maung are commonly called humpback gongs in Burmese music. Royal instruments of representation used to be ngwe-maung (silver gong) and shwe-maung (golden gong). A circle with 21 tuned humpback gongs is called kyi waing or kyi naung . Another Burmese gong circle, maung zaing , consists of 18 or 19 gongs, which are divided into five separate wooden frames and arranged one above the other. Sometimes kyizi are incorrectly referred to as gong. These are flat striking plates, mostly made of brass, that are ritually struck in Burmese monasteries.
The Thai piphat orchestra includes the circular gong game khong wong yai made up of 16 humpback gongs, the diameter of which increases from 12 to 16 centimeters, and the somewhat higher pitched gong circle khong wonk lek made up of 18 smaller humpback gongs. Both times the player takes a seat in the middle, he uses two mallets with disc-shaped heads. The diameters are 125 centimeters for the former and about 102 centimeters for the smaller instrument. Outside of classical music, there are individual gongs in Thailand such as the pan ( ปาน ) or phan ( พาน ) from Northern Thailand , which has a smaller percussion hump ( pentju) . It is played together with drums and couples' cymbals during funeral services and temple festivals. In the northeastern part of Isan the gong is called phang hat ( พัง ฮา ด ). It measures around 40 centimeters in diameter and is struck with a padded mallet. The gong mong ( ฆ้อง โมง ) is a large gong that is played during funeral ceremonies . A gong circle in the music of Laos, which is related to Thai music ( khlong vong ), has at least eleven humpback gongs.
On the Southeast Asian mainland, the range of the humpback gongs extends in the east via Thailand, Laos and Cambodia to the minority peoples of the Vietnamese mountainous country. For the North Vietnamese Mường , gongs represent the bride's most valuable dowry and correspond to the exchange value of a water buffalo or a cow. Gongs are found in roughly the same area as stilt houses, while the Vietnamese and Chinese majority populations traditionally build brick houses on the ground.
The music of the Malay Peninsula in the south is influenced by Thai, Indonesian and Muslim immigrants from the countries of the Near and Middle East. Gongs mark the beat in most traditional ensembles. The largest Malay gong is the tawak (also tetawak ) hung vertically in pairs . The row of gongs made up of six horizontally hung canang humpback gongs accompanies Wayang Kulit theater performances. A gong is also used in dances of the Islamic culture such as the Zapin .
In Indonesian gamelan, the classical music on Java , Bali and Lombok , rows of reclining humpback gongs together with metallophones are among the leading melodic instruments. The Javanese bonang is a frame made of a double row of humpback gongs that are suspended from two strings in a wooden frame. The counterpart in Balinese music is called reyong . In the older Balinese Gamelan Gong Gede , a reyong with four to six gongs is used in a double row; in the most famous Gamelan Gong Kebyar today, the same instrument has twelve gongs. A similar double row of humpback gongs of the Minangkabau in Sumatra, called talempong or caklempong , also consists of twelve gongs, which, unlike the other Indonesian rows of gong, are mounted on a table frame and are not played sitting on the floor, but standing. In the Volkstheater randai , a talempong , a bamboo flute saluang and a double-headed drum gandang katindik play together. The simpler form calempung (penyelalu) , consisting of five humpback gongs that rest on two strings stretched over a wooden box, is played by two musicians sitting on the ground opposite each other in the province of Riau . The repertoire is the same as with the local xylophone gambang with five wooden panels.
In different parts of the Philippines, Indonesia, Kalimantan and the Malaysian peninsula, agung is the name given tovertically hanging humpback gongs of different sizes with wide edges and up to 60 centimeters in diameter. The smallest agung with a diameter of 27 centimeters and a rim of 4 centimeters is owned by the Tiruay ethnic group on Mindanao .
A special feature is the group of four humpback gongs used exclusively with the rhythmic accompaniment ogung the Toba- Batak in northern Sumatra. They belong to the ceremonial ensemble gondang sabangunan , in which five tuned drums taganing and a bowling oboe sarune act as melodic instruments.
The large, deep-sounding gong ageng marks the beginning and end of the long musical units in Javanese and Balinese music as well as in the music of Lombok . There is rarely more than one or two gong agung in an orchestra . Its long aftertaste is never muted. Shorter musical cycles are marked with a set of smaller gong suwukan of different pitches.
The kempur is a humpback gong with a diameter of 25 to 45 centimeters in the Balinese gamelan, hanging on two strings in a wooden frame, its counterpart in Java and Lombok is called kempul .
Kulintang describes a series of deep humpback gongs (or kettle gongs) in the orchestra of the same name, whose main area of distribution is in the south of the Philippines .
Southeast Asian bronze gongs can have a cultic meaning and represent a symbol of wealth. They are related to the East Asian kettle gongs, which are often called " bronze drums " because of their external shape and to which those from the Dong-Son culture from around the middle of the 1st millennium BC. Dong-Son drums originating in BC . JJM de Groot first translated the term “bronze timpani” in 1898 from the Chinese word tonggu (from tong , “bronze, brass, metal”, and gu , “drum”). In his fundamental work in 1902 , Franz Heger led four main groups (hereinafter Heger I , II, III and IV) of these "metal drums". According to Curt Sachs (1915), both designations are unfortunate because these objects are not membranophones according to the Hornbostel-Sachs system . In 1915, Sachs therefore proposed the name “Kesselgong” instead. In 1932, Robert von Heine-Geldern wanted to keep the name "metal drums" for the cult objects that occur from Indonesia to Mongolia , because their outer shape is similar to skin drums. Assigning names to gongs by name is also problematic in terms of classification, since gongs are essentially forged and kettle gongs are cast . The term “drum” for an idiophone has also become commonplace for the “ slit drums ” and the “ steel drum ” of Trinidad . Instead of the eardrum, there is a bronze plate on the body of the kettle gong, usually decorated with artistic engravings. Geometric patterns emanate from a star in the center of the plate, in between there are representations of soul ships (with which the deceased get to the afterlife), houses, mammals, fish and people.
Similar bronze drums are still in use by the Karen in the Thai-Myanmar border region under the name hpà si ("frog drum "). They are known as "Karen drums" because they were used by the Karen people and "Shan drums" because they were made by the Shan people and are said to have the magical ability to make rain. As with the Dong-Son drums, a row of frog figures sit on the outer edge; they generally mean that the drum is thought of as “male”, in contrast to the “female” drum without frogs. In their function as ritual objects, this also includes the slender hourglass-shaped bronze drums moko of the East Indonesian Alor archipelago . Even in the remote mountain regions of northwest Vietnam , minority peoples still honor bronze drums today. The largest Vietnamese collection of bronze drums houses the National Museum of History in Hanoi , the world's largest collection with 560 specimens (as of 1988) is housed in the provincial museum in the Chinese autonomous region of Guangxi .
Chinese kettle gongs ( tonggu ) made of bronze are common among some minority peoples such as the Miao , Yao or Zhuang in the south of the country. Their diameter is usually between 50 and 100 centimeters. Two handles are attached to the opposite edges to attach a shoulder strap. The decoration of the plate usually includes a twelve-pointed star in the middle and geometric patterns in several concentric circles. Four to six small frogs are symmetrically distributed around the edge. The oldest kettle gong in southern China dates from the 6th century BC. And was found in Yunnan Province . It is decorated with an eight-pointed star, but does not yet have any figures attached to the edge. A particularly small boiler drum was discovered in northern Thailand in 1961, its height is 29 centimeters, with a top diameter of 44 centimeters.
The natural scientist Georg Eberhard Rumpf brought the first bronze drum to Europe in 1682 and gave it to Cosimo III. de 'Medici , the Grand Duke of Tuscany . Rumpf was also the first to describe the "Moon of Pejeng", the largest known bronze drum. It is named after its location in a small building in the temple courtyard of Pejeng in the Gianyar district of Bali. Its diameter is 1.6 meters and its height 1.86 meters, and its shape is related to the moko type.
A borderline case between an idiophonic (self-sounding) kettle gong and a drum stimulated by a vibrating membrane is the large circular copper kettle mizhavu from southern India, whose skin stretched over a tiny opening is beaten with the hands.
- Philip Alperson : The Sound of the World: Aesthetic Reflections on Traditional Vietnamese Gong Music. In: Philip Alperson, Andreas Dorschel : Perfect things stay away. Aesthetic approximations (= studies on valuation research. Volume 53). Universal Edition, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-7024-7146-0 , pp. 86-104.
- James Blades, James Holland, Alan R. Thrasher: Gong. In: Stanley Sadie (Ed.): The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians . Volume 10. Macmillan Publishers, London 2001, pp. 133-136.
- James Blades, James Holland, Jeremy Montagu: Gong. In: Laurence Libin (Ed.): The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. Volume 2, Oxford University Press, Oxford / New York 2014, pp. 448–450.
- Franz Heger : Old metal drums from Southeast Asia. 2 vols. Leipzig 1902.
- Mantle Hood, Alan R. Thrasher: Bronze drum. In: Stanley Sadie (Ed.): The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Volume 4. Macmillan Publishers, London 2001, pp. 425 f.
- AJ Bernet Kempers: The Kettledrums of Southeast Asia. A Bronze Age World and its Aftermath. In: Gert-Jan Bartstra, Willem Arnold Casparie (ed.): Modern Quarternary Research in Southeast Asia- Volume 10. AA Balkema, Rotterdam 1988, ISBN 978-90-6191-541-6 .
- Heinrich Simbriger : Gongs and gong games. In: International Archive for Ethnography. Volume 36. EJ Brill, Leiden 1939.
- ↑ András Varsányi: Gong Agung. Manufacture, sound and shape of a royal instrument of the east. (Tübingen Contributions to Musicology, Volume 21) Hans Schneider, Tutzing 2000, pp. 266–270
- ↑ James Blades, James Holland, Jeremy Montagu: Gong. In: Laurence Libin (Ed.): The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, p. 448
- ↑ Jeremy Montagu: What is a Gong. In: Man, Volume 65. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, January - February 1965, p. 19
- ^ Sibyl Marcuse : Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary. Doubleday, New York 1964, keyword Echeion , p. 165
- ↑ Jaap Art : Gong. In: Friedrich Blume : Music in the past and present. Volume 5. 1st edition, 1956, p. 521
- ↑ Chinese Literature Tongdian 通典 "Comprehensive Statutes". Chinaknowledge
- ↑ James Blades, James Holland, Jeremy Montagu: Gong. In: Laurence Libin (Ed.): The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, p. 449
- ↑ Gong in: New Grove, pp. 134f
- ↑ Richard Emmert et al. a .: Description of Musical Instruments . In the S. u. a. (Ed.): Dance and Music in South Asian Drama. Chhau, Mahākāli pyākhan and Yakshagāna. Report of Asian Traditional Performing Arts 1981. Academia Music Ltd., Tokyo 1983, pp. 279f
- ↑ Pichu Sambamoorthy: Catalog of Musical Instruments Exhibited in the Government Museum, Chennai. (1955) The Principal Commissioner of Museums, Government Museum, Chennai 1976, p. 22 and Plate IV, 7
- ^ Roger Blench: A guide to the musical instruments of NE India: classification, distribution, history and vernacular names. 2011, p. 19
- ↑ Keyword rank . In: Late Pandit Nikhil Ghosh (Ed.): The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Music of India. Vol. 3 (P – Z) Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2011, p. 886
- ↑ Priyadarshni M. Gangte: Marriage Payment: An Aspect Of Marriage Institution Practiced Among The Chikimis In Manipur. kukiforum, September 5, 2011
- ^ The Gong Performance Festival of the Muong Ethnic People. Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Socialist Republic of Vietnam, January 16, 2008
- ↑ Marwati: Researching Talempong Music of Minangkabau, Nursyirwan Gained Doctor. Universitas Gadjah Mada, April 6, 2011
- ^ Philip Yampolsky: Music of Indonesia 7. Music from the Forests of Riau and Mentawai. Booklet accompanying the CD by Smithsonian Folkways, 1995, p. 12f
- ^ Henry Spiller: The Traditional Sounds of Indonesia. ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara 2004, p. 87
- ^ Curt Sachs : The musical instruments of India and Indonesia. Georg Reimer, Berlin 1915, p. 38
- ↑ Robert von Heine-Geldern : Significance and origin of the oldest rear Indian metal drums (kettle gongs). (PDF; 428 kB) In: Asia Major, Volume 8, 1932, pp. 519-537
- ↑ AJ Bernet Kempers, 1988, p. 33
- ↑ Pham Minh Huyen: A Typological Study of Bronze Drums in the Ha Giang Museum. Institute of Archeology, Hanoi
- ↑ Han Xiaorong: The Present Echoes of the Ancient Bronze Drum: Nationalism and Archeology in Modern Vietnam and China. In: Explorations in Southeast Asian Studies. A Journal of the Southeast Asian Studies Student Association, Volume 2, No. 2, Fall 1998
- ↑ Drum model with four frogs, Dongson culture, 300 bc – 200 ad The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- ^ H. van Heekeren: A metal kettle-drum recently discovered in North-Western Thailand. In: Bijdragen tot de Taal, Land en Volkenkunde 126, No. 4, Leiden 1970, pp. 455–458
- ↑ Mantle Hood: Bronze drum. 1st general . In: Grove Music Online , 2001