10 Interesting Gamelan Music Facts

Thursday, February 6th 2014. | Culture

Those who love to study about the traditional music should read gamelan music facts. Gamelan music is very famous in the world even though it cannot beat the popularity of modern musical instruments such as electric guitar, drum or even piano. People who love to study ethnic music should learn the way to perform gamelan music.

Gamelan Music Facts 1: origin

Gamelan is the original musical instrument of Indonesian people. If you visit this country, you can find many gamelan music in Java and Bali.

Gamelan Music Facts 2: A gamelan orchestra

Those who watch gamelan orchestra performed on stage can find out many musical instruments here. You can see drums, metallophones, gongs, and xylophones. All of them are used to create harmony on the gamelan music.

Gamelan Music Facts

Gamelan Music Facts

Gamelan Music Facts 3: name

Why this musical instrument is called gamelan? It is derived from the word gamble. It English, it means hammer. The player will knock on the gamelan using the hammer shaped like tool.

Gamelan Music Facts 4: function of gamelan

The gamelan music usually is performed when there is shadow puppet play or traditional dance play. The gamelan will be used as the background for the sound effect.

Gamelan Music Performance

Gamelan Music Performance

Gamelan Music Facts 5: melody

Learning to play gamelan music well needs time. The pieces of gamelan are created based on the primary melody.

Gamelan Music Facts 6: different characters

Each gamelan is very unique. You will never find two kinds gamelan having similar tuning. There are two kinds of scales used by the players in gamelan music. Both are the pelog tuning and slendro tuning.

Gamelan Music Pic

Gamelan Music Pic

Gamelan Music Facts 7: development of the gamelan instrument

The development of this instrument can be traced back on the Majapahit Empire.  This musical instrument is the proof of the Hindu Buddhist culture which spreads in Indonesian in the past.

Gamelan Music Facts 8: Javanese mythology

The Javanese mythology tells us that the creator for gamelan was Sang Hyang Guru. He did it in AD 230 or in saka era 167.

Gamelan Music

Gamelan Music

Gamelan Music Facts 9: a musical ensemble

The first picture of this gamelan ensemble was discovered on Borobudur temple, Central Java around 8th century. In the image, you can see bells, bamboo flute, bowed instrument, lute and drums in numerous sizes.

Gamelan Music Facts 10: the oldest know gamelan music

The oldest known gamelan music is located in the palaces of java. The instrument was created around 12th century. It is called the Munggang and Kodokngorek gamelans.



Even though gamelan music is a product of traditional period, now it appears that there are several modern games from Sunda, Java and Bali. Are you interested with facts about gamelan music?

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