Picture Credit: Dr. Han Kuo-Huang
Listen to Kempul
The other hanging gongs are basically called Kempul. The number of Kempul in a Javanese gamelan is not standardized, it varied from gamelan to gamelan. Like Gong Ageng, Kempul has a flat surface with a protruding knob at the center.
Kempul produces a high pitch than Gong Ageng. The sizes of Kempul are different too. Different sizes of Kempul produce different pitches. The smaller size produces the higher pitch, and the larger produces the lower pitch. Basically, a Kempul is about 45cm in diameter.
The mallet used to struck on the knob is the same as the one used on the Gong Ageng, except, it is smaller in size. It is a wooded mallet with a ball-shape head with heavy padding on a short wooden handle.
Like most of the gongs, except Bonang, the function of Gong Ageng is more for punctuation.
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