ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Balinese Gamelan Ensemble Percussion Based Music Style - Bali Beleganjur

Updated on October 26, 2011

Gamelan Background Info

“Gamelan” is an Indonesian word for “ensemble” or “orchestra”. Usually the term Gamelan is used in relation to percussion-based musical ensembles in Bali, Java, and other Indonesian islands. A gamelan typically consists of a variety of different instruments: xylophones, metallophones, drums, and gongs. All of the instruments in any particular gamelan are built and tuned for each other. They are meant to work together in perfect union. The gamelan was influenced by the Hindu-Buddhist culture and the current gamelan instruments were created in the Majapahit Empire. There are many different forms of gamelan varying by geographic location. The main division in styles is between the Javanese, Balinese, and Sundanese peoples. The major type of Sundanese gamelan is called Gamelan Degung. Balinese gamelan, on the other hand, is most often thought of as Gamelan gong Kebyar because of its continuous fast changing tempo. Kebyar literally means “to flare up like a match”. Another popular Balinese style is Kecak, which is basically a gamelan of voices. Javanese gamelan was mostly controlled by the courts and the upper class. It is known to have a slower, more meditative type of rhythm. Beleganjur gamelan, a Balinese style, is even played during Hindu-Balinese cremation processions. In Bali the act of cremation is considered the first step towards the freeing of the soul, which they call “atma”. The procession involves all of the members of the deceased person’s “banjar”. “Banjar” usually means “villiage ward”, but it makes more sense to call it a neighborhood assembly. The “Banjar” is behind the planning of the social and religious activities in the community. Gamelan is best described as “unique, tropical sounds of shimmering compositions and dynamic flurries of percussion performed on the exotic bronze instruments of the Balinese gamelan.” (1). It is commonly played at events called “puppet plays”. In Indonesia “puppet plays” are known as “wayang kulit”. Kulit stands for skin, and is describing the leather puppets that are carefully crafted with special tools. The lower pitched instruments, such as the gongs, play at a slower pace while the higher-pitched instruments play at a quicker pace. This creates a unique sound. During these puppet plays, the instruments are played with a softer mallet to ensure that the story-teller can be heard by the audience.

Florida State University's Gamelan Ensemble

Works Cited

 1. "Music and Dance of Bali." Gamelan Tunas Mekar. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr 2010.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)