Antique Tibetan Singing Prayer Bowl
(circa 19th centrury)
Traditionally, antique singing bowls were made of Panchaloha (literally meaning "five metals" in Sanskrit): a bronze alloy of copper, tin, zinc and iron and other metals. Antiques often include silver, gold, nickel and the most prized "sky-iron" from meteorites and tektites. Antique singing bowls produce multiphonic and polyharmonic overtones which are unique to the instruments. The subtle yet complex multiple harmonic frequencies are a special quality of the high quality bronze alloy. The art of making singing bowls in the traditional way is often called a lost art.
Antique singing bowls are highly prized and collected worldwide. Their popularity is due to their fine craftsmanship and remarkable sound. The aging process greatly improves the tone and centuries old antiques produce an incredibly rich and beautiful sound. The following sound tracks are from a single strike of the bowl. Bowls are often made to sing by slowly draging a wooden peg around the outside rim.