Category Archives: Gamelan Instruments

What is the difference between a lesson and a workshop at Mekar Bhuana Centre?

One of the most common questions we get from potential students who contact Mekar Bhuana is what the difference is between a lesson and a workshop. So I’m going to explain this in my blog.

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Gongs in Bali Part IV – What is Special about a Gong to Balinese?

If a gamelan orchestra has a hanging gong in it (not all do), it is almost always the most important instrument. It is considered the heart of the ensemble, therefore is also the instrument that can never been left out … Continue reading

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Gongs in Bali Part III – what is characteristic about Balinese gongs?

The two common types of materials for gong making are bronze and iron, with the former being more prestigious and therefore a lot more expensive.

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Gongs in Bali Part II – How many different types of gongs are there in Bali?

A gong is actually not just a round metal object that hangs in a frame and makes a sound when you hit it. There are in fact different categories of gongs in Bali which can be made of bronze, iron … Continue reading

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Gongs in Bali

To the Balinese, a gong is something that is often revered: for its sound, its prestige, its mysticism. To the lay person, we think of a gong as a hanging instrument that makes a sort of booming sound, but it … Continue reading

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How do Balinese know which gamelan orchestra to use for which ceremony?

A couple of treatises called Aji Gurnita and Pra Kempa which date to the 1800s detail a number of the main types of ceremonial gamelan orchestras, explaining their instrumentation and their function.

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Gender Wayang – Bali’s Most Intimate Gamelan Ensemble

If you’ve ever been to a tooth filing ceremony in Bali, you would have heard the music of gamelan gender wayang. Instruments played by either by two or four musicians in pairs, a gender wayang ensemble is Bali’s most intimate gamelan ensemble.

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How many Different Types of Balinese Gamelan are there in Bali?

In short, many! Gamelan experts the world over normally claim that there are anything between 25 and 40 types; however, so far I’ve counted 70 with the number increasing all the time as people create more different varieties.

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What is Angklung used for?

Across Bali, there are thousands of bronze angklung groups, perhaps as many as the ubiquitous and incredibly popular gong kebyar that originate in North Bali in the early 20th century.

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What is Angklung?

Found on a number of islands in Indonesia, notably Java, Bali and Lombok, angklung is a type of gamelan with very ancient roots. There are many theories about the origins of both the instruments and the scale, but, after nearly … Continue reading

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