SET B3 Javanese Gamelan Orchestras


The gamelan is used for almost all religious, palace and social events as an accompaniment to all other dance and drama forms in the Indonesian archipelago. No two gamelan sets are ever the same. The complexity of Indonesian gamelans is compounded by two key factors – imperfect pitch of the tuned instruments and the use of two sets of scales.


Imperfect pitch is a result of the laborious process of forging the main drum instrument (gong ageng). The drum is forged as a flat metal sheet which is then beaten into shape over a former. All other instruments in the gamelan are then tuned to this single gong ageng. Thus the instruments of one gamelan are not interchangeable with each other.


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The Gong Ageng, which is a large vertically suspended gong, is considered the spiritual heart of the gamelan, providing the foundation pulses that anchor the rest of the ensemble and marks the end of long musical phrases.


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Another unusual instrument is the Bonang consisting of a wooden frame on which 8-12 bronze pots are mounted.  In Bali, it is played simultaneously by three or four players sitting side by side.  In Java, the instrument is played by one player.


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         KENONG AND KAJAR                       

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SULING (flutes) AND REBAB (fiddle)


The kenong and kajar are time-keeping instruments, played by a single player beating out a constant rhythm.  Other time-keeping instruments are the kendhang and the delightful sounding ceng-ceng.


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KENDHANG (drums)                     

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              CENG-CENG (cymbals)                                                  SARON (GANGSA)


Javanese Gangsa are metal strips suspended on a wooden platform. An example would be the saron.  The instrument cases are plain or highly decorated in various colours and gold. Sometimes extraordinary carvings representing anthropomorphic animals are included.


The gender is found in both Java and Bali -an instrument that has thin, metal (usually tuned bronze) keys suspended over tube resonators; it is played with either one or two mallets (two are used for playing polyphonically).  Due to its height, the musician usually sits on a stool.


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          GENDER                                                GAMBANG KAYU


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  BONANG BARUNG                                            BONANG DEMANG


Sir Stamford Raffles, Governor-General of Java, collected a most remarkable gamelan set of fantastically zoomorphic musical instruments, now housed at the British Museum’s Department of Ethnology at the Museum of Mankind. Given the comprehensive documentation, this set is the one chosen by Golden Chersonese Miniatures to be depicted as a Kraton gamelan orchestra.  The illustrations on this page show the models of the Raffles Gamelan.



Please click on the below links to view the following sets:


Set B3a Javanese Kraton Gamelan Gong Orchestra


Set B3b Javanese Kraton Gamelan Gender Wayang Orchestra


Set B3c Javanese Gamelan Gender Wayang Orchestra


Set B3d Javanese Gamelan Saron Wayang Orchestra


Set B3e Javanese Gamelan Siteran Orchestra


Note that many of the musical instruments are different castings to the Series A Bali Gamelan orchestra sets.


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