Category Archives: Gamelan Instruments

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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What are Gender Wayang?

One of the most intimate gamelan ensembles on the island, a gender wayang (gender for short) group consists of either two or four musicians. In the complete group of four, there are two medium-range instruments and two high-range. The ensemble … Continue reading

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What is the function and origin of Barong Berutuk?

According to an article in the Bali Post in 2010, the origins of the Barong Berutuk of Terunyan are said to be connected to a megalithic statue that is found in Terunyan’s Pancering Jagat Temple, called Bhatara Datonta. No one … Continue reading

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What is Wayang Wong?

If you are interested in Balinese traditional art-forms, many of you would have heard of wayang kulit: the shadow puppet show; however, the human version of these puppets, called wayang wong, is probably less familiar.

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What is a Suling?

Suling is the Balinese word for seruling, which means ‘flute’. Made from bamboo, Balinese flutes are always end blown and vary in size. They can be anything from around 20cm to more than a meter long and quite narrow or … Continue reading

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