Function of Instruments

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The word "gamelan" came from Javanese "gamel," which means "hammer." Most of the instruments in a Javanese Gamelan are gongs and metallophones, and the music is of percussive nature.

The Spiritual Leader in Gamelan is the biggest gong, Gong Ageng.  However, the real leader during the performance is the drummer.

Javanese Gamelan instruments, according to orchestral function:

A.  Nuclear Theme (Main Theme)

    1. Saron Demung
    2. Saron Barung
    3. Saron Panerus
    4. Slentem

B.  Melodic Elaboration

    1. Bonang Barung
    2. Bonang Panerus
    3. Gambang
    4. Gender Barung
    5. Gender Panerus
    6. Siter

C.  Counter-Melody

    1. Rebab
    2. Suling
    3. Human Voice

D.  Punctuation

    1. Gong Ageng
    2. Kempul
    3. Kempyang
    4. Kenong
    5. Ketuk

E.  Rhythm

    1. Bedug
    2. Kendang Gending
    3. Kendang Ketipung

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Gamelan Main Page   |  Javanese Gamelan  |
Functions of Instruments  |  Instruments and Sounds  |  List  |   Javanese Gamelan Music  |
Metallophones   |  Gongs   |  Drums   |  Counter-Melody   |
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