Written By: Abdi Komang Santosa
The story of singing bowls mirrors the story of Asian culture. The quality of the bowls reflectsthe state of the cultures that produced them. The best examples are found from wealthy times, while few are found where war and hardship persisted. The bowls exemplify the interaction of
cultures through trade and the sharing of technology. They are a type of time capsule, reflecting the wealth, refinement and skill of the people who made them. Antique singing bowls found today intrinsically retain their heritage in their very form. Singing bowls were most prevalent where Buddhism flourished and are often associated with Buddhism.
True singing bowls are made from bronze, which is a mix of copper and tin. The bronze used in singing bowls is a special preparation known as “bell metal” bronze. Bell metal contains a higher percentage of tin than normal bronze. The proportions of copper and tin and special preparation of the metal make bell metal bronze the best sounding metal known to humanity.
It has been the metal of choice for singing bowls, bells, cymbals, gongs and other metal instruments for thousands of years. Today, handmade singing bowls are still made of bell metal bronze while new machine finished bowls are made of brass. Brass is a mix of copper and zinc and does not sound as nice as the traditional bronze. Brass sounds dull and does not vibrate as long as bronze.
Nowadays the metal bowls you can commonly buy seem no longer to be the real singing bowls not to be coming from Tibet . Some bowls have very pleasant sound that seem to be warp you up in an egg shape sound form, differing in that respect from the tabular bells.
Singing bowls can have a very positive effect on the rhythm of the heart and calming down the vegetative nervous system.