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percussion instrument consisting of a disk, usually with upturned edges, 3 ft (91 cm) or more in diameter in the modern orchestra, often made of bronze, and struck with a felt- or leather-covered mallet or drumstick. Of ancient origin—representations of the gong date back to the 6th cent. A.D.—it has also been called the tam-tam. First used in Western music in the funeral march of Gossec's Mirabeau (1791), the gong has since been a regular member of the European-type orchestra, but it is used sparingly. It is commonly used in East Asian music and in the gamelan music of Bali and Java.


Abbrev. for Global Oscillations Network Group.



a percussion instrument much in use by the people of Southeast Asia; a convex bronze disk with its edges curved outward.

The gong produces a melodious resounding tone when struck with a special hammer. It is used as a signaling instrument, to accompany dances and perfomances at puppet theaters, and in gamelan orchestras. The tam-tam, a variation of the gong, is used in operatic and symphonic orchestras.



1. a percussion instrument of indefinite pitch, consisting of a metal platelike disc struck with a soft-headed drumstick
2. a rimmed metal disc, hollow metal hemisphere, or metal strip, tube, or wire that produces a note when struck. It may be used to give alarm signals when operated electromagnetically