Singing bowls, contrary to their name, are actually bells. Unlike the bells we're used to seeing, which involve pieces hitting against each other to produce a single sound, singing bowls are referred to as "standing bells." They can be played by hitting a padded mallet against the rim or by dragging the mallet around it, allowing friction to create the noise.
While the origins of these unique instruments are unclear, we have found antique bowls in collections that date back to the 15th century. In China, Japan and Vietnam, singing bowls are used in meditation, funeral services and forms of ancestor worship. Singing bowls are capable of producing incredibly relaxing sounds, making them a perfect instrument for these ceremonies and musical performances.