When you are a person that loves gongs, it is impossible not to want one from every corner of the globe. However, many lovers of this musical instrument are hesitant when purchasing Thai gongs. There are several reasons for this pause, but few are against the magnificent sound they create. With a general overview of these differences, you will soon understand that this style of gong is right for you.
Why people buy Thai gongs
Most Americans that play gongs are doing this in three different ways. The first buyer is typically a gong musician within a percussion symphonic structure. These types of gongs have a specific sound and are used as part of an orchestra. Other types of gong owners use them for meditative practices. Finally, some gong owners appreciate their decorative value and rarely use them. Obviously, Thai gong owners are going to buy a modern or antique version for these three purposes, but there are still other reasons to buy.
The unique Thai gong sound
If you have heard a gong being played in the past in the United States, it probably was not one from Thailand. Most gongs that Americans know by ear are ones developed in Europe or China. No matter how big they are, these common American versions tend to have a bright shrilly sound. On the other hand, even the smaller Thai gongs lean toward a lower tone than other gongs made around the world. In many ways, amateur Americans might describe this specific Thai sound as one that has a lot of bass.
The extra heft of gongs from Thailand
If you are accustomed to buying gongs and having them shipped, you will soon notice that delivery of a gong from Thailand is slightly more expensive. Despite the fact that you might be buying one that is the same size as another one you already own, these gongs are heavy because they are made from thick metal. This produces part of their distinct sound.
Heavily decorated antique collectors items
In addition to heft, part of the reason that a Thai gong stands out is because they are heavily decorated. For this reason, the wood or metal that holds them up in the air is also usually distinctly bejeweled. This focus on the ornate not only has immediate value, but Thai gongs also have a long-term angle because they are so beautiful. In general, it is assumed that a well-crafted gong from Thailand with unique markings will gain antique status easily within a few decades.
Matthew Boley is an avid writer. Giving people different or new ideas is something he strives to continually do. Learning about Thai gongs, and possibly how to play them, may broaden other’s horizons.
Photo Credit. Vern L (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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