This card excites me because of the beautiful and haunting sound of the luo (鑼) or gong. LUO (鑼) - Traditional Chinese gong - One of several variations of luo TRADITIONAL CHINESE CLASSIFICATION: Metal RELATED INSTRUMENTS: - Orchestral precussion OVERVIEW: The luo or gong is a musical percussion instrument that takes the form of a flat, circular metal disc which is hit with a mallet. It originated in China and later spread to Southeast Asia and Africa. Gongs are generally classified into three categories: 1) Suspended gongs 2) Bossed gongs 3) Bowled gongs ORIGINS: The existence of the gong dates back to the Bronze Age, around 3500 BCE. For centuries a gong was viewed as a symbol of status and success among families and the secrets of gong making were closely guarded. Since the arrival of Buddhism around 600 BCE, all sacred Chinese gongs have been inscribed with the two Mandarin Chinese characters “Tai Loi”, which means happiness has arrived. NOTES: - Gongs and their sounds have been used in meditation, healing, communication, and announcing the beginning of ceremonies. - Touching a gong is believed to bring a person good luck, health and happiness; however, it is important to have permission to approach a gong.