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Where did Gamelan music come from?

Javanese Gamelan

Balinese Gamelan

Gamelan puppet shows

Gamelan instruments

Gamelan Facts


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Gamelan music originated in Indonesia, from the
islands of Bali and Java. Bali and Java are only small
islands but are now well known for the gamelan music.

Java Bali

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Java is much bigger than Bali but they are both equally
important. They are two completely different islands
so they have completely different music but they are
the same style as each other.

Gamelan music was supposedly created (in Javanese
mythology) by Shivam Malhotra in 230AD from a
palace on…

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In Java they also have professional puppeteers to do
puppet shows.

Balinese gamelan is more about its dance and its
drama more than it's playing of the instruments. In

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Bali it is mostly percussion instruments and there are
more metallophones than there are gongs. Balinese
gamelan music normally repeats over and over until
the leading drummer gives a signal to stop playing.

In Bali as well as Java they have puppeteers doing
puppet shows.

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A normal sized Gamelan puppet is usually around
about 70 ­ 80cm tall. They use buffalo skin for the
body because it is tough and firm and they use other
materials for the smaller parts. Using the puppets in
the puppet show isn't just about making a good show

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The Javanese gamelan has two

Pairs of bonang instruments.

The gongs are very important
to the gamelan.

The kenong, like the gongs,
are punctuating instruments.

The drummer leads the orchestra
into stopping and starting

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When the gamelan music players play their
instruments they believe that there is a spirit in
each instruments and if they stepped over them
then they would offend the spirit.
They would also offend the spirit if they wore
shoes when playing so they have to play the
instrument bare…

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