Singing Bowl Types and miscellaneous information about bowls

Polished singing bowlPolished or Matte:  If at first glance these bowls seem plain and simple, well, they are - sort of. Unadorned, with a shiny polish or with a soft matte luster, they are unpretentious and not a bit flashy. Then you look closer and lose yourself in the light that ripples across the hammer marks or in the clean curve of the rim and you relax in the bowl’s quiet glow. We select these bowls for their beautiful and stable tone and you will find quite a number of them in our personal collection. They are less expensive than the etched and engraved bowls but no less beautiful in their humble manner.

Thick rim (wall):  These bowls are usually either polished or matte and look much the same except that the rim is much thicker, sometimes very thick indeed. This results in a sound that goes on and on and on…..

Bengali style singing bowlBengali bowls: Black outside with a bright golden rim and inner surface, shaped to produce a lasting sound. We also carry quite a few giant bowls with this design and they have exceptional tone and sustain.

Assam bowls: Shallow and wide, we have only a few of these unusual bowls. They are named after the region where their flat shape originated. They tend to have a clear and bright tone.

Brushed singing bowlBrushed bowls: After production these bowls are deeply brushed, resulting in a thinner walled bowl with a deeper fundamental than you would expect from their size. These bowls require a tactful touch with a softer mallet and produce a deep long lasting tone. If you are very heavy handed you might not like these bowls, but their beauty and resonant tone are truly worth the gentle touch required to play them well.

Giant bowls: Large and wonderful bowls with deep strong voices, they are also known as foot bowls, as a person can stand in the larger of them, or sit in a chair with feet in the bowl, without dampening the sound of the bowl. Giant, or foot, bowls are found in most bowl types. These bowls are quite heavy and are best used on the floor or a stable platform. Be sure to support and protect your giant singing bowl with an appropriately sized pad or ring under it.

Etched singing bowlEtched:  Bowls are decorated with a removable substance, such as wax, and then subjected to an acid bath, which etches the unprotected metal. The protective substance is then removed, leaving a raised pattern. There are many etching types and styles and the etching can be quite simple or extremely complex and is sometimes enhanced by engraving.

Engraved: These bowls are traditionally engraved with hand tools, hammer and punches and the designed used can range from simple to elegant. Our Celtic bowls and the outstanding Dragon line bowls are examples of simple but effective engraving while the magnificent Master bowls take the art of etching and engraving to whole new levels.

Master engraved singing bowlMaster engraved bowls: These intricately hand etched and engraved bowls are somewhat rare and it is even rarer to find one that sings to a Universal Harmonic. Each bowl is etched and engraved inside and out and the level of craftsmanship is outstanding. These are the gems of our collection. It is tempting to regard these stunning bowls as art pieces but they are truly singing bowls and sound as beautiful as they look.

ZEN singing bowlMachine made singing bowls: These are not beaten but cast and especially in the case of the zen owls, machine lathed. They can come plain, in a mandala pattern, a three color pattern or in the zen form. The mandala and tri-color bowls may or may not have weighted centers. These bowls rarely have overtones but ring with a bright clear single tone. They are ideal for playing music, enhancing meditation, or as chakra bowls. Heaven of Sound selects only those machine made bowls with exceptional clear tone.

Zen: Styled after the Japanese RIN bowls, these elegant machined bowls are extremely heavy for their size and possess an incredibly clear and pure tone. Their clarity and sweetness make them exceptional meditation aids.

Sweet spots: As these bowls are hand crafted, they are not uniform in thickness and shape. Some bowls will have a definite sweet spot where they sound the best to you. Interestingly we have found in our seminars that some persons will prefer different sweet spots on the same bowl.

"Pulsing" bowls: Many hand-hammered singing bowls will contain in the fundamental (as well as the 1st overtone) two frequencies that are very close together and will produce a kind of pulsing or shimmering. Some people will find this harmonic tension very useful in meditation or for drama in guided sound meditation.

Tibetan sing bowl makingMetals: Machine made singing bowls are mainly made from a brass alloy (a copper/zinc mixture), whereas the hand-hammered or forged Tibetan singing bowls are mainly made from a bronze alloy (a copper/tin mixture), but most of them can have up to seven or more different metals in them. Generally bowls are manufactured by families that each have their own traditional formula for bowl production. The metals used greatly influence the color of the alloy and the sound the resulting singing bowl will finally produce. When we refer to gold, we are actually referring to the color and not the metal, but the silver and copper toned bowls usually have a bit more of those metals in the alloy.