Singing Bowls…What are they?

How do bowls “sing”?

“These bowls”, people ask, “how do they sing if they’re not a living thing?” Now, to some people this question might be a little unfounded but, stop to think about how many Westerners have probably heard these beautiful and sometimes antique instruments. You would be right if your answer was, probably, very few. It’s a shame, really. But, remember that Western philosophy dictates that we work to live, and not live to work. So, in other words, like that one African American lady once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”Singing Bowls

photo by Deborah Dilley.

With that said,  the way these bowls do their “singing” is by being struck by a mallet often made of wood that has one end covered in suede or wool. And then they are rimmed after being struck. Rimming is a technique that requires the instrumentalist to hold the bowl, with their non dominate hand, at about the height of the abdomen and then, after striking it with suede or wool portion of the wooden mallet, put the portion which struck the bowl in your hand. Then the person would gently take the wooden handle around the outer lip at a 45° angle. All while sitting crossed legged on the floor letting the overtones and positive energies flow.

Types of Bowls

There are generally two types of bowls; one type is made of metallic alloys; the other is made out of pure Silicon dioxide. Both types are played using the same method of rimming. Both types produce a rich and rather organic sound.

And that’s what makes bowls sing. Check out local antique stores as well as metaphysical stores for these enchanting bowls.


Author: californiadreamin441

I'm a communications major at Shepherd University.

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