Singing bowls are a kind of bell as a musical instrument. Singing bowls are a stationary instrument, unlike conventional bells, they are not suspended or attached to the handle. The sound is born from the vibration of the walls of the bowl and its edge. Singing bowls are an ancient musical instrument used throughout Asia as part of the Bon religious traditions and Tantric Buddhism. Nowadays, in addition to the traditional religious use, singing bowls are used everywhere as a tool for meditation, relaxation, various medical practices related to biorhythms, in yoga.
In Buddhist practice, singing bowls are used as an auxiliary tool for meditation, prayer and trance immersion. Chinese Buddhists, for example, use bowls along with a moktak (a type of wooden box) during chants, striking the bowl while chanting a specific phrase in a sutra, mantra, or hymn. In Japan and Vietnam, in addition, with the help of bowls, they measure time in the process of prayer or signal a change in activity.
Written sources describing the use of bowls in antiquity have not yet been found, but there are many images and sculptures in which this musical instrument appears. In private collections, bowls of the 10th-12th centuries are found, however, the first bowls could have appeared much earlier - bronze bells in Asia, for example, began to be produced around the 9th century BC. e.
Playing the singing bowls is the leisurely driving of a wooden or sometimes plastic pestle (stick) around the edges of the bowl, resulting in a long, “singing” sound filled with overtones as a result of friction. The “fullness” of the sound with harmonic overtones directly depends on the quality of the bowl. By varying the force of pressing the stick to the edges of the bowl or the weight of the stick, you can get different tones. The second version of playing the singing bowls is a gentle blow of a stick wrapped in suede, producing a warm sound similar to the ringing of a bell.