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Sounding Bowls are copyright on a number of counts:

  • The only instrument to have strings inside the resonant space.
    • Other stringed instruments typically have strings over the resonator (guitar, violin etc) or from/into the resonator (Harp, merimbau etc)
    • Other instruments with a sound source inside (mbira etc) do not use strings.
    • Pianos have a case around the strings but the resonator is the sound board beneath/behind the strings, not the case as such
  • The only turned stringed instrument without a neck
    • Sounding Bowls are turned on a lathe
  • The only stringed instrument in which all major components are fashioned by turning
  • The only stringed instrument to use two fans of strings, one overlaying the other
    • Some upright pianos and other instruments have used overlaid strings but not laid out fan-wise
  • The only instrument to use copper tubing to conduct the string flow through the wall of the instrument.
  • The only instrument to use copper tubing as the ‘nut’ for the string’s contact with the body.


Intellectual property rights for this unique creativity lies with Tobias Kaye since 1986/7 and the first models. Copyrights for these unique design and outstanding properties of Sounding Bowls were established further by a 1991 article in Experimental Musical Instruments magazine who’s editor, Bart Hopwood is a noted musicologist and historian of musical instruments and who wrote that these are unique features.

It is our clear intention to protect and claim our sole rights for the making of these instruments.

In the past, a few woodturners have fashioned and circulated musical instruments to a similar design as the Sounding Bowl. The inferior performance of these was much to the detriment of our instrument’s name and the sound healing work that follows on. We encourage all our customers to ensure that their Sounding Bowl carries the Tobias Kaye mark, it’s certificate of authentication.  If you are in possession of, or have contact with a Sounding Bowl that has not been signed it may be an early model and can be identified and signed here free of charge. Please contact us to arrange this.

If you are a woodturner and would like to make a Sounding Bowl to sell, gift or lend to another person then please contact Sounding Bowls or see our page on training. Under certain circumstances a limited copyright licence may be considered. We would prefer to engage with you transparently and in open communication so as to protect the quality of our instruments and company reputation.

In this we ask for mutual respect.

Demand for Sounding Bowls is presently rising faster than we can make them and it may be possible to become a registered maker in your own right, please contact us to discuss. Drawings, guidance and unique components would be available to qualifying applicants.

Please note that anyone selling, lending or gifting a Sounding Bowl not authenticated by us is breaking copyright law and exposing themselves to the consequences.

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