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Sonic Inquirer
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

Hello everyone! I'm so happy to have this wonderful forum where we can find real information without all the pseudo-scientific myths!

I have recently expanded my small collection of singing bowls and bells for use in a nightly Musical Meditation that I've been leading online with my partner. I'm a pianist by trade, and sometimes play piano or other keyboards in the meditations, and I like tune my singing bowls to different pitches each evening.

I usually tune the bowls by adding water, thereby lowering the pitch. But I don't understand the physics of bowl/bell tuning in general. So...

One of my bowls could use some serious cleaning/sanding. If I remove some of the metal, will this lower or raise the pitch?

I also have some Tingsha that are not tuned correctly, and I'd love to experiment on them. Is there anything I could do to change the pitch? What effect would removing a small amount of metal from the bottom have? What about the sides?

I also have a crystal singing bowl that broke into two pieces. The larger part (which includes all of the bottom of the bowl and about 3/4 of the sides) now makes a lower pitch than the original bowl did, which I found surprising. I really like the sound and would like to use it, but I don't like the sharp edges! How might the pitch and sound change from sanding down and smoothing the sharp glass edges? 

I'd like to get a better understanding of bowl/bell design and tuning in general. I know with metal reeds, you can raise and lower the pitch by filing it on opposite sides. I would just like a better understand of how this works with bowls and bells, so I can have an idea of what will happen if I do some serious polishing/cleaning of them and remove some metal.




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Posts: 281
Reply with quote  #2 

Hi Miles,

I'll try to get back to this soon, but can't spend any time replying tonight.

Also, Mitch Nur, Mike Tamburo and Guy Yair Beider might have some experience and thought on your questions.
I'll just say for now, if your metal bowls or tingshas are antiques, I wouldn't mess with them by removing some of the metal!


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Sonic Inquirer
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the response, Rich.

In the meantime, I'll try to add something to this thread by posting the little I've observed:

With so-called "meditation"/bar chimes, things are relatively simple. If you shorten the bar by shaving off some metal from either end, the pitch goes up. If the edges aren't smooth, you can get beating and strange overtone patterns from the chime. I believe if you reduce the diameter of the chime bar, the pitch would also rise. I did not personally test this last bit, but that's how a string behaves...though for all I know, the physics could behave differently for a more rigid object like these chime bars.

With singing bowls, things are a bit more complicated. In general, the bigger bowls produce a lower fundamental pitch. But with two bowls identical in diameter, it seems that the bowl with thicker walls will have a higher pitch. What about bowl height? I don't have the bowls to test that variable, but I'd sure like to know :-).

If anyone can explain more about all this, I'd love to hear it. Thanks for the help!
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