Tam-tam gong

What you can do here
Caution: if you hit the gongs too hard, they may crack or break!
Remember never to hit the centre of the gong. It may damage the instrument.

Hit the gong above its centre with the mallet. Listen to the sound it makes. Hold your hand close to the gong surface without touching it. You will feel the vibration of air that surrounds the gong. Try moving your hand to examine how the vibration intensity changes with its position. Repeat the above after hitting a different spot. Can you hear and feel the difference?

How it works
The resonating gong surface makes the air around it vibrate, creating pockets of higher and lower density. Therefore, it generates the acoustic wave that you can hear, but also feel. Gongs are idiophones i.e. instruments where a solid body with natural and unchanging elasticity is the sound source.

Interesting facts
The right gong playing technique consists of initial gentle hits around the rim, they are so gentle that the ensuing vibration is inaudible. After this preparation the player hits the gong again, slightly closer to the centre than during the gentle ‘warm-up’.