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Picture Credit: Dr. Han Kuo-Huang

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Listen toGambang

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The Gambang looks like a metallophone instrument, however, its bars are made of wood rather than bronze.  There used to be two types of Gambang, a Gambang with bronze bars and a Gambang with wooden bars.  Bronze Gambang  used to be found in the gamelan but nowadays it is not used anymore.  So, 'Gambang" is now referred to a wooden bar Gambang.

The wood used for the Gambang must be very hard.  A type of wood known as berlian is normally used to make Gambang's bars.   The wooden case to support these bars is like the saron's, but it is much deeper and with thinner sides.  The purpose of this case is to act as a resonator.   Each bar is secured on top of the case by pins.  The bars are from about 58cm to 29cm.  The length of the bar becomes shorter as the pitch rises.  Each Gambang has approximately 19 to 20 bars. 

The player need two mallets to play on a Gambang.  The mallets have very long handles, approximately 35cm.  They are made of buffalo horn, and are very thin and flexible.  At the end of the handle, there is a wooden disc surrounded by a felt ring.

The Gambang usually play the fastest part in the gamelan. 

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