Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ting! All About the Tingsha

Recently in yoga teacher training, I got to use Dolly's tingsha (which I so eloquently referred to in class as the "dingy things") to close out a chant before class. Lots of people in class were interested in the tingsha and where to get some. There are scores of them online—Zanzibar Trading has an interesting array.

For those who are curious, here's a little more about these lovely little cymbals...
The following text was borrowed from Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_tingsha_bells

History of the Tingsha
Tibetan tingsha are small cymbals used in prayer and rituals by Tibetan Buddhist practitioners. Two cymbals are joined together by a leather strap or chain. The cymbals are struck together producing a clear and high pitched tone. Typical sizes range from 2.5" - 4" diameter. Tingsha are very thick and produce a unique long ringing tone. Antiques were made from special bronze alloys that produce harmonic overtones.

In high quality tingsha, both cymbals will match—the tone is identical or nearly identical. Most tingsha, however, are not perfectly matched so each produces a distinctly different tone. This is due to modern manufacturing processes in which many tingsha are produced at the same time and then poorly matched.

Fine quality examples of antiques or the rare pair of carefully matched new tingsha will sound identical.

Antique tingsha are rare and quite expensive. Sometimes two cymbals that do not match are paired together. Single cymbals are often sold with a bone or piece of wood attached, so the instrument is still functional even though the mating cymbal has been lost.

Tingsha are unique in form and function and distinctly different from Indian, Nepali, Chinese, Turkish or other cymbals.

Today, tingsha are used along with singing bowls and other instruments in meditation, music and sound healing. Artists such as Karma Moffett and Joseph Feinstein use multiple pairs of antique tingsha together to create a sonic tapestry effect.

Traditionally, however, tingsha are used as part of specific Tibetan rituals, such as offerings to "hungry ghosts." While they are commonly found today in musical recordings and yoga classes, their real function is as a religious ritual tool.

1 comment:

Rain said...

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Their Tingsha (Tingshaw) are specially made for them by a Tibetan refugee family living in Dehra Dun, India, who have been making them for the Tibetan community for many generations. What's different about their tingshaw is that they are matched, one to the other, so that they have incredible, harmonic, balanced sound! They cost a little more but compared to any others available on the Internet they are the best!

They've got a wonderful website with tons of really high quality photos, Mp3 sound samples, videos,etc. They ship worldwide and offer a 30-day satisfaction or your money back guarantee. And they give a percent of their profits every year to the International Campaign for Tibet. Check it out!