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Gamelan -Traditional Instrument From Indonesia

Gamelan - A Very Popular Traditional Instrument From Indonesia
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The gamelan instrument consists of several musical instruments that are played simultaneously, so it can produced a good and beautiful harmony. In general, the rhythm of the music played by gamelan has a slow and gentle tempo. The following are the names of gamelan instruments to know :


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The first gamelan instrument is a drum or drum. This drum works to regulate the rhythm and tempo of the gendhing (song played). The sound of the drum usually regulates the main tempo, the rhythm is fast and slow with catch. The way to play this instrument is by percussion or beating with the hand on the surface of the skin.

Usually the surface of the skin is made of animal skin such as buffalo, cow, goat or deer. But some Kendang craftsmen believe that the use of buffalo skin is the best as a raw material because it is considered more durable than the skin of other animals.


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This Gong is the biggest gamelan musical instrument. This tool serves to give a sign of the beginning and end of a song or gendhing. Gong will give a sense of balance after the passing of songs with long lyrics. One of these gamelan instruments is beaten.
Gong is generally made of brass metal. Usually placed by hanging in an archery.


Flute is an instrument that is played by being blown. Usually, the flute is made from bamboo which is given a hole as a determinant of the tone or barrel. One end is the blown part called Jambangan. This function is to drain the air to produce a vibration of the air and become a sound.

Suling in gamelan music functions as the song Pangrengga. The sound released from this instrument is very soft. Because it is very suitable when combined with other gamelan instruments.


Gambang is one of the gamelan musical instruments that is played by being hit with a tool called tabuh. It has a unique and distinctive shape and sound. Xylophone is made of wood and the producing parts of the notes are made of wood or bamboo formed into a blade.
The blades contain 18 pieces which are usually placed in a resonantor rack shaped like a boat. The shape of the blade is arranged sequentially starting from the smallest to the largest so that the tones issued can vary.


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Bonang is an important musical instrument supporting the gamelan. Its function is as a basic melody amplifier on a song (gendhing). The shape is like a pot made of bronze. Bonang generally consists of 14 pieces which are lined up in a place resembling a shelf.

How to play this bonang is to hit the bronze pot section using 2 hammer percussion. Usually this percussion hammer is wrapped with a layer of cloth or rubber at one end.


In the gamelan performance, the siter functions as a cengkok controller. Siter can make a distinctive sound from 11 strings. In general, this gamelan instrument is played at the same speed as a gambang musical instrument. Even though most are played with a fast tempo.

Cyberspace games have a big influence on gamelan performances. Because if there is a tone error, it will directly affect the playing of other musical instruments. This will automatically change the rhythm of the gamelan game to become irregular and less harmonious.


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Rebab is played by swiping like a violin instrument. But with a smaller size. How to play it is by swiping the strings using a friction tool that looks like an arrow. The body part of the trigon is round and the other part has a long tip.

The function of this fiddle is as an instrument of leadership and dubbed as the leader of the song especially in the soft wasp. One of the gamelan instruments is also commonly played to accompany sinden when singing.


Kenong is generally made of brass, iron or brass. This instrument is called kenong, the functions as a determinant of gatra boundaries and is useful for confirming rhythm. Also, it is used to adjust the tempo of the song (gendhing) which is played. Kenong instrument is played by being hit using a bat.


The appearance of a fleeting snapper resembles a gong but is smaller. Therefore it is often called a small gong. The function of this kempul is to confirm the melody rhythm in a song (gendhing).

Kempul can produce a higher sound than a musical instrument gong. Kempul usually amounts to 8 to 10 pieces, each of which produces a different tone. The bat is made of wood which one of the ends (to hit) is given a thick layer of fabric.


In gamelan games, kethuk serves to maintain the rhythmic consistency to remain harmonious. The way to play this Kethuk is to be hit using a bat that is wrapped in rubber or cloth that is quite thick at the end.


Kempyang serves as a rhythmic musical instrument in gamelan performances. Also it is used to help drums to produce a desired rhythm. Usually kempyang is played with the kethuk to produce the sound of the Tuk Bluk Tuk Bluk and form a beautiful harmony.


The last gamelan instrument is gender. Gender is made from brass metal which is formed into a blade. In general, this music instrument has 10 to 14 blades that when played produce different tones. Gender is played by being beaten using a device called percussion which is round and the ends are coated with cloth.

Thus a brief review of the history of the early birth of the gamelan and various types of gamelan instruments. The young generation is better able to preserve one of these cultures so as not to erode the times. Because culture is the wealth of the nation. Hopefully this article can be useful for you.

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