Gongs are very old instruments. Archeologists have unearthed gongs that are estimated to be some 4000 years old. They have their origin in the indonesian-malayan culture area (the root word is malayan "agung") and spread out all over South East Asia including China, Tibet and Japan. Their ancestors were presumably Chinese bronze drums which again were famous all over Asia. The oldest example of a Chinese Chau Gong (see below) was discovered in a grave dating from the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- 9 A.D.) First documents mentioning gongs date from China around the 6th century. Here they are atributed to a nation knows as Hsi Yu that was located between Tibet and Burma. Today still, gongs are cast in and forged from bronze or a copper-tin alloy. They were used at funerals, as a signal in processions, for meditation and with any kind of religious ceremony. They were also used in orchestras accompanying opera and dance as well as weddings and other secular festivities. There are two main shapes: Gongs with a cup and a broad rim are tuned to a keynote that is best audible when striking the cup. Flat, slightly concave gongs, disks with or without a rim, have a less definite keynote that is only recoginizable when the gong is hit softly directly in its centre. Played in the usual "5 o'clock position", i.e., half way to the edge, the rich overtone spectrum is stimulated to create the typical flat gong sound. The name used of this instrument is TAM TAM for distinguishing purposes. Its original name was Chau Gong. The Gong appeared in classical symphony orchestras long ago. The very first person to use it was the French composer Francois Gossec who used it in his funeral march for the French revolutionary Mirabeau in 1790. Claude Debussy was the first popular composer to integrate gongs regularly in his symphonies.