Gongs have been a symbol of status and success among Asian families for centuries. They're used today mostly for beautifying gardens in many regions of the world. They're also still used by modern monks to invoke spirits, as well as in religious ceremonies and during meditation. Advocates of feng shui use garden gongs to bring balance and harmony to garden spaces. Garden gongs can often be found at home improvement stores, garden supply stores and nurseries.
A garden gong is a metal-rimmed disk that produces loud tones when struck with a hammer or padded mallet. They're made of brass, iron or bronze. They're often hung from tree branches or in patios or verandas. Some garden gongs are made from exotic wood, but they don't make sounds, so are used for decorative purposes. Garden gongs can also have a antique finish for an exceptionally unique look.
According to the AllAboutGongs website, garden gongs can have diameters as small as 15 in. or can be as large as 4 ft. across. Typically, larger gongs are cylindrical rather than round. The sounds that are produced depend on the size of the gong; larger gongs produce more resonant and deeper tones
The two basic types of garden gongs are freestanding and hanging. Freestanding gongs hangs from the top of an enclosed space; hanging gongs are suspended from high places, such as a tree branch, where it can catch the wind.
Gongs were originally used to announce events such as births and deaths. Although their main function today is to beautify gardens and produce sounds, smaller gongs can summon family members for meals or meetings. Gongs in front yards can be used as doorbells. Garden gongs add personality to gardens, creating musical sounds to inspire positive energies. Many garden gongs are designed so gardeners can create their own unique design and musical sound.
Gongs have produced music and sounds for thousands of years. In fact, they are the oldest--as well as the most genuine--musical instrument of Southeast Asia. Historians believe gongs were first used before the second millennium B.C. They were identified in Chinese history about 500 A.D. Burma, China and Annam were the principle gong centers, producing about seven different gong structures, according to the ArtDrum.com website.