Gong chime

A gong chime is a generic term for a set of small, high-pitched bossed pot gongs. The gongs are ordinarily placed in order of pitch, with the boss upward on cords held in a low wooden frame. The frames can be rectangular or circular (the latter are sometimes called "gong circles"), and may have one or two rows of gongs. They are played by one to four musicians, each using two padded sticks to strike them. They are an important instrument in a large number of Southeast Asian musical ensembles, such as Indonesian gamelan, Philippine kulintang, or Thai pi phat. For this reason, such ensembles are sometimes called "gong chime ensembles" or "gong chime orchestras," and the broad variety of music "gong chime music."

Gong chimes typically are played either in a soloistic style, providing a virtuosic embellishing role, or providing a rhythmic role, for example, in a colotomic structure.[1]

The term may also be used to refer to hand-held tuned gongs played in high rhythmic density, such as the older Balinese reyong, the Philippine gangsa, and some ensembles of minorities within the mountainous interior of Vietnam.[1]

List of gong chimes

Source: Sibyl Marcuse. Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1964: 213.
Indonesian gong chimes
Gamelan degung, Musical Instruments Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Thai gong chimes khong wong lek
Thai gong chimes, khong wong yai

Cambodia (kong mon គងមន) and Thailand (khong mon ฆ้องมอญ), Museum of Musical Instruments in Phoenix, Arizona.
Cambodian gong chimes kong von thom
Cambodian gong chimes kong toch
Gong Chimes and percussion, Indonesia section at Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Indonesian or Javanese bonang gong chimes(foreground)
Javanese or Indonesian bonang gong chimes (foreground)
Philippines kulintang gong chimes
Stone-chimes and chime-bells
Korean pyeongyeong stone-chimes, a type of lithophone, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Korean pyeonjong chime-bells, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Chinese bianqing stone chimes, a type of lithophone, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Chinese bianzhong chime-bells, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona
Using stone or bells, these are set up in the same manner as gong chimes.


  1. Ernst Heins. "Gong-chime". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  2. Clark, Mitchell (2005). "Sounds of the Silk Road: Musical Instruments of Asia." Boston: Museum of Fine Arts Publications.
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