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2 Responses to Sample Page

  1. Ellen Koskoff says:

    Hi Vaughan,

    I am researching the history of the Balinese bronze, 4-key gamelan angklung for a book I’m writing, and saw your post.

    Do you (or anyone else reading this) know which came first–the bamboo rattles or the bronze-keyed instruments? I am assuming the bamboo rattles are older — but don’t know for sure. If that is so, when, where and why did the bronze-keyed ensemble come into being?

    I thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

    Happy New Year!
    Ellen Koskoff

    • MekarBhuana says:

      Hi Ellen

      According to the literary evidence (Prasasti Batuan dated 1022 AD), bamboo angklung instruments known as abonjing (it doesn’t specify if they were rattles though) were already around. Presumably the bronze ones came later, as the only mention I could find was in Malat Rasmin (dated 1759 AD) where they are referred to as “Cumangkirang”. A quick way to find these references in book form is in I Made Bandem’s ‘Gamelan Bali – Di Atas Panggung Sejarah’ which came out a few years ago in Indonesian.

      It’s hard to say exactly why the bronze version of four-keyed angklung came into being but it may have just been that a technological development of bronze casting locally meant that Balinese could produced orchestras of more resonance. Although I’d assume that bronze angklung instruments were actually developed earlier than the 18th century, but I haven’t seen any literary or archaeological evidence to suggest this yet.

      Good luck with the research and the book – will you be coming to Bali to complete it?



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