• Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Topic: Gongs

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    USA NJ Central coast
    Posts
    48

    Gongs

    GONGS (type of cymbal or bell)

    Types:

    -boss (nipplegong) -- "Gong"; strike on boss or edge [tuned]

    -flat (windgong) --in drum kit: called just 'gong' [untuned]

    Tam-tam /"Chinese cymbal" (tam-tam is big version "Chinese cymbal" : drum kit's small "tam-tam" is called "Chinese cymbal")

    (-opera gong "bu-`oing" ...ie kabuki theater)

    (-bell "bowl gong")


    Like all cymbals, come in diff sizes, with consequent different sounds/volumes.

    ===============
    GPO assignment:

    --CYMBALS
    suspended

    crash (3 strikes = FF & P & Staccato[f])

    --GONGS

    = boss

    = wind

    = chinese cymbal

    = edge

    --
    Triangle (2 stikes = normal & staccato-dampen)

    ===========
    ===========
    In my "GPO assignments" section is that right?

    Or is b1 and b2 supposed to be 'boss' and 'edge'? It doesn't sound like it though. ...But that is just it: it is hard to know what these things sound like for real, because they are VERY rare --to SEE on paper and hear at the same time --in common sources.


    EDIT: corrected gong note assingment so as to prevent on looker confusion later on. (Deleted note letter before "=")

  2. #2

    Re: Gongs

    Quote Originally Posted by JM1234321 View Post
    GONGS (type of cymbal or bell)

    Types:

    -boss (nipplegong) -- "Gong"; strike on boss or edge [tuned]

    -flat (windgong) --in drum kit: called just 'gong' [untuned]

    Tam-tam /"Chinese cymbal" (tam-tam is big version "Chinese cymbal" : drum kit's small "tam-tam" is called "Chinese cymbal")

    (-opera gong "bu-`oing" ...ie kabuki theater)

    (-bell "bowl gong")


    Like all cymbals, come in diff sizes, with consequent different sounds/volumes.

    ===============
    GPO assignment:

    --CYMBALS
    suspended

    crash (3 strikes = FF & P & Staccato[f])

    --GONGS

    b1= boss

    bb1= wind

    a= chinese cymbal

    g1= edge

    --
    Triangle (2 stikes = normal & staccato-dampen)

    ===========
    ===========
    In my "GPO assignments" section is that right?

    Or is b1 and b2 supposed to be 'boss' and 'edge'? It doesn't sound like it though. ...But that is just it: it is hard to know what these things sound like for real, because they are VERY rare --to SEE on paper and hear at the same time --in common sources.
    I guess you must be using Finale or another notation program? I looked up percussion info in the GPO manual, and there's nothing there that correlates to the note assignments you've listed.

    For Gongs in "Basic Orchestral Percussion"-

    G#4 - large gong
    A4 - medium gong 1
    A#4 - tam tam
    B4 - medium gong 2

    The same 4 Gongs are included again in the "Cymbals" patch, with the same note assignments.

    Randy

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    USA NJ Central coast
    Posts
    48

    Re: Gongs

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    I guess you must be using Finale or another notation program? I looked up percussion info in the GPO manual, and there's nothing there that correlates to the note assignments you've listed.

    For Gongs in "Basic Orchestral Percussion"-

    G#4 - large gong
    A4 - medium gong 1
    A#4 - tam tam
    B4 - medium gong 2

    The same 4 Gongs are included again in the "Cymbals" patch, with the same note assignments.

    Randy

    (Yes my gong note-assignments in first post above are wrong. They were tentatives: I meant to check them with prog before posting but didn't (mind going to multiple places at once here).)


    I use Overture.

    I used Wikipedia to understand gong types. I haven't heard them called -- in non MIDI land-- medium and large gongs. Not to mention medium gong 1 and 2 are two different kinds of strike on same gong.

    Also I used sites which were explaining orch complements in English, Italian, French, German languages. That is where I learned that orchestras use what are called "gongs" and "wind gongs" (no "large" or "medium" anywhere to be seen). Also I have seen in vid recordings of sound track orchestras (Poledouris, Williams)--ie large force orchs-- that the `kitchen had two big gongs back there at least. I assume --until new info-- one was wind gong, one was nipple ("gong").

    As indications in a score, naming them as GPO does might be very insufficient.

    ------------------
    GPO gong section is screwed up in multiple ways here.

    I believe Tam tam and Medium 1 are reversed. Ie it is A4 tam tam and A#4 Medium 1. The gong sounding for note A# is Chinese cymbal like. Tam Tam is just another word for "Chinese cymbal" (though they come in smaller and larger sizes).

    Then further there is the curiousness of "Medium1" sounding like wind, while the "large gong" sounds dark and majestic--but not wind-like. "Medium 1" sounds the most wind-like of set.


    Right now what is being heard in GPO is, I believe...

    B Nipple-boss, listed as "medium 2" by GPO
    A# Wind gong, listed as "tam tam" by GPO
    A Tam tam (smaller), listed as "medium 1" by GPO
    G# Nipple-edge, listed as "large" by GPO

    What is being told to us in manual is...

    B "medium 2", sounding as Nipple-boss [correct but should be called boss not medium]
    A# "tam tam", sounding as wind gong [incorrect times 2]
    A "medium 1", sounding as tam tam/Chinese cymbal [incorrect times 2]
    G# "large", sounding as Nipple-edge [incorrect]

    I think proper way is...

    B "boss" [using patch "medium 2"]
    A# "edge" [using patch "large"]
    A "tam tam" [using patch "tam tam"]
    G# "wind" [using patch "medium 1"]

    The nipple gong with its strike types --boss and edge-- should be on its own line, with a flat / sharp connoting the different strike types. That is just like what is done for the triangle.


    GPOs gong set is borked: Naming them in ways a real orch might be perplexed by ("medium 1" and "2"), the out of order tam tam and medium1, and 'wind' and 'nipple-edge' being confused.


    Does anyone have recordings of orchestral gongs sounding and their strike types --with notation markings connoting what is happening? Does anyone know for certian what orchestras call these things?

    "It is hard to know what these things sound like for real, because they are VERY rare --to SEE on paper and hear at the same time --in common sources."

    This is going to be a problem. [sigh]

  4. #4

    Re: Gongs

    Quote Originally Posted by JM1234321 View Post
    This is going to be a problem. [sigh]
    I'm afraid I'm a bit of a Neanderthal when it comes to using gongs, JM - I just reach for the one that sounds good for a particular piece, and use it. But I can see what you're wanting is to very specifically notate the precise gong you want for your compositions. Of course notation books show you the specific symbols for the various gongs, but you're also wanting to be more familiar with what all the different gongs sound like. It's a completely new issue I've never seen anyone bring up, so I have nothing here at the Forum to which I can refer you.

    There's this site I just now quickly Googled up. It has audio samples of 3 basic gong types, perhaps that can be a start:

    http://www.percussionclinic.com/infoorc.htm

    The way the gongs are named in GPO I think is a good example of "MIDI talk"--they aren't academically correct names, but rather descriptive. Here's a sound we'll describe as a "medium gong"--and here's another "medium gong." For most of us, more accurate names would be lost on us, we want to have some basic idea of what we're reaching for when we load one of the instruments.

    I could be wrong, but it seems likely that when a live orchestra plays your music, the selection of gongs may be limited to what the percussionist has at hand. What one orchestra uses for your pieces will be different than what another orchestra uses - I'm not so sure getting so studiously accurate would really improve your score, since what will happen in an actuall performance situation will probably be unpredictable. But, as I said, my needs are simpler. If I want a gong, I can load one from the small collection of 4, choose a pitch, EQ it if I want, pitch shift even if I decide to reach for an outside pitch - I just need a metallic crashing sound with a ring to it.--

    So - I do bet you could find more audio samples of all the different gongs with some searching online, and then you could experiment with what GPO has to approximate what you hear. The most crucial part for you, I think, will then be to look up the notation guides for the right symbols - And so forth.

    It's the best I can do!

    Randy

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    USA NJ Central coast
    Posts
    48

    Re: Gongs

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser- View Post
    I'm afraid I'm a bit of a Neanderthal when it comes to using gongs, JM - I just reach for the one that sounds good for a particular piece, and use it. But I can see what you're wanting is to very specifically notate the precise gong you want for your compositions. Of course notation books show you the specific symbols for the various gongs, but you're also wanting to be more familiar with what all the different gongs sound like. It's a completely new issue I've never seen anyone bring up, so I have nothing here at the Forum to which I can refer you.

    There's this site I just now quickly Googled up. It has audio samples of 3 basic gong types, perhaps that can be a start:

    http://www.percussionclinic.com/infoorc.htm

    The way the gongs are named in GPO I think is a good example of "MIDI talk"--they aren't academically correct names, but rather descriptive. Here's a sound we'll describe as a "medium gong"--and here's another "medium gong." For most of us, more accurate names would be lost on us, we want to have some basic idea of what we're reaching for when we load one of the instruments.

    I could be wrong, but it seems likely that when a live orchestra plays your music, the selection of gongs may be limited to what the percussionist has at hand. What one orchestra uses for your pieces will be different than what another orchestra uses - I'm not so sure getting so studiously accurate would really improve your score, since what will happen in an actuall performance situation will probably be unpredictable. But, as I said, my needs are simpler. If I want a gong, I can load one from the small collection of 4, choose a pitch, EQ it if I want, pitch shift even if I decide to reach for an outside pitch - I just need a metallic crashing sound with a ring to it.--

    So - I do bet you could find more audio samples of all the different gongs with some searching online, and then you could experiment with what GPO has to approximate what you hear. The most crucial part for you, I think, will then be to look up the notation guides for the right symbols - And so forth.

    It's the best I can do!

    Randy
    Randy, thanks for the help!!

    I do generally call for large perc forces. I seem to gravitate there. (Curious.) But I do try to make it well delineated --player wise etc-- since it is big. (For example I never call for more than 4 timp tones even though modern "pro" orchs (as compared to schools*) will have the tunable-on-the-fly versions. [*schools might only have three timp max.]

    Most orchs will have a crash cymbal pair and suspended cymbal. They will probably have the Chinese cymbal ("tam tam"). They might have a gong or two --struck in different ways. All movie orchs do (along with the 6 horns and 4 trumpets --and sometimes two tubas).

    A way to handle this gong issue might be to define *effect desired*. Eg "[gong played] as sub aquatic"; "as ancient epic"; "as swelling waves;" "as cavernous-mysterioso". They know which to use and how to strike. (I've done the same with the tubular bells ..."as buoy bell"; though I called for certain exact pitch.)

    That link is nice. (Most MP3 links there are dead though. ..I told you my life is one unsolved problem after another. LOL) The tam tam they give is a crash gong. Not like GPO's tam tam AT ALL which is a smaller variety called a Chinese cymbal. The "gong" there is a boss hit or "tight" small gong. And the wind gong is a crescendo roll which could just as easily be played on a larger "suspended cymbal" for same effect.

    I do think that GPO lists the 'Chinese cymbal' (called in GPO 'tam tam') and 'gong' reversed. As for everything else, that is me trying to make heads or tails of it.

    In the end, note there are two gong types and one tam tam (and rare kabuki 'opera gong'). Sizes vary from orch to orch; vary to the point a tam tam can sound like a "large gong" crash and a "gong" gong can be a small bell-like boss hit; and techniques cause cymbals and gongs to be interchangeable.

Go Back to forum

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •