Timbre

Tibetan Singing Bowl

Tibetan Singing Bowl
Tibetan Singing Bowl

So I was looking around the house for musical things to see what their timbre looks like on the Timbre app, and saw a Tibetan Singing Bowl. 

I was given this as a gift a while ago. I believe that you are supposed to gently rub the wooden stick thing around the edge and the bowl has this cool resonance that sustains for a long time. As the sound gets the louder that vibration of the bowl kicks the wooden stick thing off and bounces it a bit, which ruins the nice mellow sound. The Timbre of this intended sound is fairly pure, with a extra harmonic that warbles around quite a lot as the stick moves.

Tibetan Singing Bowl Timbre - Normal

When I wrap the stick with a fluffy sock and whack it (improvised soft mallet), the tone is similar, but doesn’t warble around.

Tibetan Singing Bowl - Stick in Sock
When you get a 5 year old daughter to hit the bowl with the unadorned stick, there are lots of extra harmonics. The position of the harmonics are not the nice 5ths and 3rds that you see on the musical instruments I’ve tried. I guess this is due to the circular shape of the bowl and the tricky physics of the real world refusing to line up with mathematical precision. It’s also what makes the sound so distinctive, much like a bell. 

Tibetan Singing Bowl - Hit with a stick

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