Discovering Chinese Instruments: The Resounding Gong
ONE STRIKE OF THE MIGHTY GONG SENDS REVERBERATIONS TO THE DEPTH OF YOUR SOUL
The seamless blending of Chinese instruments with the Western orchestra is one of the most unique features of Shen Yun music. But what are these ancient instruments that produce this distinct yet familiar sound? Let’s explore.
Ancient Chinese had a saying: “A powerful gong can be heard 50 miles away.” Today, this instrument reaches even further—it is widely found in orchestras and heard around the world.
But before garnering international acclaim, the gong enjoyed its glory days in the Middle Kingdom. Dynasty after dynasty, it was a vital part of religious, military, and royal ceremonies, resonating in people’s hearts for thousands of years.
Due to its size, the suspended gong is easy to spot both in Shen Yun’s orchestra pit and on stage with Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra.
Every gong is unique because each is handcrafted with hammered bronze, and has a subtly different pitch. Gong mallets—ranging from round to flat-faced—create a scope of rich and powerful vibrations.
Shen Yun composers employ the gong’s legato qualities to enhance the music’s power, accent its beat, or express sacred majesty. Its resounding energy grasps you instantly, sweeping you away to another world.