What is Gamelan Bali?

Asked By: Subhadra Geisenhofer | Last Updated: 3rd February, 2020
Category: books and literature poetry
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Gamelan is a term that describes the traditional musical ensemble of Java and Bali.It originates from the Javanese word “gamel”, which means “to strike with a mallet”. Most of the instruments in the ensemble make sounds by striking the metal keys with a bamboo mallet.

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Correspondingly, what is difference between Javanese gamelan and Balinese gamelan?

The difference between Javanese and Balinese Gamalan Music Javanese gamelan is more traditional and suited to palaces and temples, it is a gentler and lower pitched style of gamelan that accommodates vocalists and rhythmic patterns. Balinese music is also based on a colotonic structure, but it is not always as evident.

Additionally, what are the two types of gamelan? The two main types of scales in gamelan are the pelong and slendro scales. Pelong is a septatonic scale, and is newer in comparison to the slendro scale. Gamelan usually only uses five of the seven tones in pelong.

In this regard, how is Gamelan performed?

A sustained melody is played either by the bamboo flute (suling) or by a bowed stringed instrument (rebab) or is sung—the last especially when, as often occurs, the gamelan is used to accompany theatrical performances, or wayang. The voice is then part of the orchestral texture.

What is Gamelan made of?

A gamelan ensemble consists of a variety of metal percussion instruments, usually made of bronze or brass, including xylophones, drums, and gongs. It may also feature bamboo flutes, wooden stringed instruments, and vocalists, but the focus is on the percussion.

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Which instruments are the most important in any Balinese gamelan?

Gongs. The gong is one of the most important gamelan instruments, and a variety of gongs are used in various ensembles. In the foreground are several of the kettle-gongs in a gong chime. Behind them are three large hung gongs.

What is Gamelan used for?

Traditionally, gamelan is only played at certain occasions such as ritual ceremonies, special community celebrations, shadow puppet shows, and for the royal family. Gamelan is also used to accompany dances in court, temple, and village rituals.

What are the two types of gamelan in Indonesia?

Indonesia's defining musical icon is the gamelan ensemble. Music and the gamelan ensembles are a natural and intrinsic part of Indonesian culture. The three main styles of gamelan are Balinese, Javanese and Sudanese, with many regions adopting a mixture of the three.

What are the characteristics of gamelan?

A gamelan is a multi-timbre ensemble consisting of metallophones, xylophones, flutes, gongs, voices, as well as bowed and plucked strings.

What are the characteristics of Balinese gamelan?


Easy-to-hear clues that what you are hearing is Balinese gamelan include: a predominantly percussion ensemble featuring drums, gongs, cymbals, and/or metallophones; wide tuning with audible beats; use of a five-note mode; and thick, busy textures.

What are the characteristics of Javanese gamelan?

The GAMELAN is a large ensemble of bronze keyed instruments and gongs, plus a xylophone, bowed lute, zither, and flute. Gamelan music is highly polyphonic, with a wide expressive and dynamic range.

Where does gamelan come from?

Gamelan originates from Indonesia. There are many types of gamelan, but the most famous being Javanese, Balinese and Sundanese styles of gamelan music. Many countries in South East Asia, like Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, also have similar types of these "gong-chime" instruments.

What is the meaning of bonang?

The bonang is a musical instrument used in the Javanese gamelan. It is a collection of small gongs (sometimes called "kettles" or "pots") placed horizontally onto strings in a wooden frame (rancak), either one or two rows wide.

What does a gamelan sound like?


The best known is gamelan - a percussion orchestra featuring beautiful bronze (or sometimes bamboo) instruments. With its shimmering, interlocking patterns, it's a seductive sound that has been described as "a single instrument played by many people". Gamelan music is well represented on disc.

How important is gamelan to the Indonesian way of life?

Indonesian dances are seen as important because it demonstrates the identity of the culture itself. Similarly, Gamelan is also very important. Not only does it help depict stories with music, but it also used for prayer and to entertain people.

What are the musical instruments of gamelan?

The gamelan ensemble is made up of sixteen bronze xylophones, several gongs and gong-chimes, drums, cymbals, and bamboo flutes—over forty instruments in total. This particular type of gamelan is a relatively new style known as gamelan semara dana.

What do Indonesian people like?

Indonesians are very friendly and love to make friends. They are sociable and curious to a degree that some Westerners find annoying. For a foreigner, sometimes it is hard to be left alone or find some place without Indonesian staring, saying Hello Mister or asking lots of questions.

What does a gamelan look like?


Gamelan can be defined as the action of a hammer (gamel) and usually refers to an orchestra of tuned percussion instruments including gong-chimes (which look like upturned bronze pots), metallophones (xylophones with metal, rather than wooden, keys) and deeply resonant gongs.

What are metallophones made of?

Metallophones are a subset, made of metal, of Hornbostel-Sachs category 111.22 Percussion plaques, which is a subset of percussion idiophones.

How is a Kendang played?

It is played by itself in the kendhang satunggal (lit. "one drum") style, which is used for the most solemn or majestic pieces or parts of pieces. It is played with the kendhang ketipung for kendhang kalih (lit. "two drum") style, which is used in faster tempos and less solemn pieces.