Gamelan is “a form of unique and exotic music originating in the islands of Indonesia in South East Asia. Gamelan music is played on an orchestra consisting primarily of metal-keyed percussion instruments ("metallophones") and gongs, but also including hand or stick drums, flutes, and occasionally also bowed instruments and bamboo rattles.” (Gamelan Swarasanti). Gamelan is characterized by percussion, with several musical instruments like gong, xylophone, metallophone, flute, stringed instruments, cymbals, drums etc to create rhythmic patterns that entwine in the form of well-knit sound flow. The literary meaning of the word ‘gamelan’ is roughly an equivalent of ‘to strike’ in English. Because of the intricate pattern of cadence it is known as gong-chime musical ensemble. Another notable component of gamelan is a double headed drum known as kendang, which the players rest horizontally across their lap while sitting cross-legged. The drummers play a dominant role in the concert as they are the key to direct other players, punctuating special cues of sound that function to harness the pace of the music with the change in speed, tune or for ending a particular section.Though gamelan is part of the entire Indonesian music culture, Javanese and Balinese gamelans are the most popular. Perhaps this is because gamelan owes its origin to the neighboring islands of Java and Bali. “Performances are drawn from the great Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.” (Javanese Gamelan). Java is the most densely populated island in Indonesia, and the Javanese gamelan mainly comprises. Indonesian Music - Gamelan.
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