Teoría Invertidumbre #26

Singing bowls or more commonly known as Tibetan bowls

Audio
- Crossing The Line - Henry Wolff & Nancy Hennings - track 1 from the album Tibetan Bells III - The Empty Mirror (1988)
- Excerpt of the only track from the album Reflection - Brian Eno (2016)

 

Singing bowls or more commonly known as Tibetan bowls

"...According to Tibetan oral tradition, these bowls date back to 560-180 B.C. They have been found in temples, monasteries, and meditation halls all over the world. They have been found in temples, monasteries, and meditation halls all over the world. (...) They are made from an alloy of five to seven metals, such as gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin and lead, and each of these metals is believed to produce an individual sound, including partials, and these sounds together produce the exceptional "singing" sonority of the bowls. In their manufacture, each bowl is hammered by hand, in a circular fashion, to produce its harmonic tones and vibrations. Today they are used in music, relaxation, meditation and healing...".
According to Wolfgang Strobel (1998), "...to indicate its probable country of origin, it is called "Tibetan singing bowl". It is found, however, in other Himalayan countries, and has spread throughout the Buddhist world, including Japan, in various versions...".
 
Tibetan singing bowls can range in size from 10 cm in diameter up to 1 metre. The most popular ones range from 20 to 30 cm in diameter.
 
They are usually made of an alloy of 7 to 9 metals. The sides and rim of the bowl vibrate when struck or when the rim is run over with a mallet or drumstick. Singing bowls have been used in Asia in Buddhism for meditation, trance induction and relaxation.

In order to use a singing bowl, a "drumstick" is usually used. A drumstick is a wooden instrument that is sometimes surrounded by different materials, such as rubber, silicone or cotton to obtain different types of sounds. The sounds obtained with a wooden stick are higher pitched and those obtained with cotton and other soft materials are lower pitched. The size of the drumstick should be proportionate to the size of the bowl to be played.

There are two ways of playing singing bowls: Beating and percussion. Percussion is a blow on the outer rim of the bowl, and beating is rubbing the rim with the stick until the bowl begins to make a sound. Not all bowls allow beating, but all allow percussion.