Singing Bowls

300 Gr from Nepal (SKU 5180)

Our traditional hand beaten singing bowls are produced from a mix of metals and come complete with a turned wood Puja stick. Please note diameter, weight and thickness of the bowls will vary as this is a handmade product. Hand beaten bowls have a more complex and rich range of sounds than machine made bowls, but there is more of a knack to playing them!

Diameter approximately 10 cm. Approximate weight: 240-310 gr.

What are Singing Bowls?
These majestic metal bowls are a type of standing bell which produce amazingly warm and captivatingly mysterious tones. The sound is generated by making the bowl vibrate with either a gentle strike with a suitable beater or by creating friction by rubbing the striker around the rim, as you may do with a wine glass. This type of instrument has been used for hundreds of years as a meditation aid, a sound therapy tool or solely for the pleasure of the player. Singing bowls are also increasingly found in contemporary music and are prized for their fascinating and pleasing textures. Singing bowls have been found historically throughout Asia including China, Nepal, Japan, India, Vietnam and Korea. Some people cite the Bon shamanistic religon from Tibet as the originating culture whilst others suggest that they were first developed by metal-smiths around Assam. Bowl use in Buddhism and the increase in trade routes along The Silk Road are often thought of as reasons for their spread.

Our Singing Bowls
Our bowls are made in the Kathmandu Valley area of Nepal using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. They are not antique bowls directly from Tibet. More than likely you would be paying a huge sum of money and jumping through many hoops to export an authentic antique Tibetan bowl. Our hand beaten bowls are priced according to their weight and each one is supplied with a wooden beater. 

What are they made of?
We are often asked about what the singing bowls are made from and in particular whether they are made from the seven sacred metals. Generally, no, is the simple answer. Here’s the interesting thing though, the 'seven metals' that are widely reported to be used in the best singing bowls are actually a myth created as an exotic sales pitch, possibly quite recently or possibly for a really long time. Bowls often contain trace elements of other metals due to their handmade nature, the fact is that their presence would more than likely be detrimental to the overall tone of the bowl. Very cheap bowls, for example, are often made from recycling other metals and can contain large numbers of trace metals. Nearly all quality singing bowls upon testing are a bronze alloy called bell metal - so called for its particularly nice, sonorous tones. The alloy is usually roughly 80% copper and 20% tin and this rough ratio has been used for centuries in good quality bells, gongs and cymbals around the world. We do sell a small number of certified five and seven metal bowls due to popular demand. They also often list one of the metals as 'sky metal' (derived from meteorites.) As you can imagine this would be particularly hard to get hold of and is a dubious ingredient to include in any alloy. In our opinion it is best to concentrate more on the most important ingredients: the time and skill put into each bowl by its creator and the generations of tradition and experience that goes into their production.

How to play?
Rest the singing bowl in the palm of the hand; hold smaller bowls on the fingertips. Hold the striker in the middle with all fingertips pointing downwards. Gently tap the striker against the side of the bowl to ‘warm it up’. With an even pressure, rub the striker clockwise around the outside rim of the bowl. Use a full arm movement just like stirring a big pan of soup. Try to keep the striker straight and remember to apply pressure. Let the sound build up slowly as the singing bowl picks up the vibration.