What is the characteristics of Javanese gamelan?

Asked By: Itai Queval | Last Updated: 30th March, 2020
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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.

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Moreover, what is Javanese gamelan?

Javanese Gamelan is a group in which students and community members learn to perform gamelan music from Indonesia. The gamelan is a traditional large percussion ensemble consisting of a large number of bronze gongs and metallophones (metal xylophones) of different sizes, plus drums, a zither, and flute.

Subsequently, question is, what is the common of Javanese 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.

Similarly, you may ask, 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 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.

32 Related Question Answers Found

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 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 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 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.

How is gamelan taught?


As with a great deal of traditional oriental music, gamelan is learnt by rote, passed on from guru to student. Generally, at a practice a new piece is taught in short phrases by one guru and one or two assistants. The opening phrase is first taught to the lead musician and he in turn does his utmost to mimick it.

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.

What is the meaning of Balinese gamelan?

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.

What does 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.

What is the texture of gamelan music?


The texture of the typical gamelan sound is based on melodic layers. The fundamental layer is, of course, the colotomic instruments playing the form. Just "above" this layer are lower-pitched instruments playing the most basic version of the melody.

Why is gamelan music important?

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 two types of gamelan in Indonesia?

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 is the Balungan?

The balungan (Javanese: skeleton, frame) is sometimes called the "core melody" or, "skeletal melodic outline," of a Javanese gamelan composition. This corresponds to the view that gamelan music is heterophonic: the balungan is then the melody which is being elaborated. In many pieces, they play the balungan.

Why is Indonesia gamelan important?

The functions of gamelan
But originally, Balinese gamelan was developed as solemn religious purposes, like warding off evil spirits or preparing worshippers to enter a state of trance. In fact, the beats in Balinese gamelan can be used as cues to inhalation and exhalation to induce a meditative state.

What types of instruments are most prevalent in gamelan groups?

Gamelan, the term for a traditional musical ensemble in Indonesia, typically refers to a percussion orchestra composed predominantly of tuned gongs of various types and metal-keyed instruments. The ensemble is conducted by a drummer, and often includes voice, bamboo flute, xylophone, and stringed instruments.

What is the difference between Slendro and Pelog?

Pelog is one of the two essential scales of gamelan music native to Bali and Java, in Indonesia. The other, older, scale commonly used is called slendro. Pelog has seven notes, but many gamelan ensembles only have keys for five of the pitches.