Cymbal — in Tibetan Buddhist rituals a variety of cymbals are used. There are three main kinds:
- The rolmo, the 'fierce' or 'wrathful' cymbal (Wyl. rol mo, Tib. rolmo)
- The silnyen, the 'gentle' or 'peaceful' cymbal (Wyl. sil snyan, Tib. silnyen)
- The tingshag, the small cymbal (Wyl. ting shags, Tib. tingshag)
In Tibetan tantric ritual the rolmo and the silnyen are used by the chant leader or umdzé to direct the other musicians in the assembly, just like a conductor does in an orchestra. Depending on what kind of practice, or depending on the different sections of the sadhana practice, either the rolmo or the silnyen is used.
The rolmo, the 'fierce' or 'wrathful' cymbal, is mainly, but not exclusively, used for more wrathful practices and when the drums are used.
The silnyen, the 'gentle' or 'peaceful' cymbal, is mainly, but not exclusively, used to perform pleasant sounding music for peaceful practices.
The tingshak or small cymbal produces a clear and high pitched tone or 'ting' sound, from which its onomatopoeic name 'ting-shak' derives. In the Tibetan tradition it is mainly used when making offerings to preta's in smoke offering or sur practices.