the word derives from the javanese language and simply describes the sound. For 3500 years gongs have existed in the world. From Java the Gong has spread all over Indonesia, like Bali, Sumatra, Kalimantan, then throughout Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, Kambodscha, Vietnam, Laos, Indien, Nepal and China, where people developed a different kind of Gong, called Tam-Tam. This Tam-Tam has spread over Japan and Korea.
In the beginning the Javanese used the Gong for meditation:
The performer plays the Gong, listens to the sound and meditates, lets the thoughts calm down, without judging it all the time. With the deep silence found it is possible to let the vibrations fill the resonating cavity within our bodys, the permeability of the body gets noticeable and thereby ponded energy in different body regions can be released, so that body, mind and soul are in harmony again.
After developing Gongs in different sizes the traditonal pentatonic music was created. Nowadays in indonesia Gongs were used in traditional gamelan music as part of the gamelan orchestra, the primary practice vanishes here, too. In gamelan orchestra 5 different sizes of Gongs are used, the biggest Gong is called Gong Ageng (96 cm in diameter). In Europe Gongs are used often for Music Therapy and Sound Therapy.