The Cradled Gong

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The Cradled gongs are supported from below.  The open rim of the gongs are placed on string cords, and the knobs of the gongs are pointed upwards.  The rim is a node, and therefore this method of support does not damp the sound.  These gongs are supported by wooden cases and racks.  These cases and racks are often carved with floral motifs, some with dragons.  The carvings on the racks are usually painted in gold and the rest in one other color, usually darker colors such as blue, green, or black.  The carving and the painting is actually not essential.   It depends on the gamelan makers.  Many gamelan exist with simple carving or none at all.  Some of them are even unpainted.  All cradled gongs are struck with sticks that are lightly padded with coiled string.

There are three types of cradled gongs:

    pupplebullet.gif (1007 bytes)  Bonang

    pupplebullet.gif (1007 bytes)  Kenong

    pupplebullet.gif (1007 bytes)  Ketuk and Kempyang

All Bonangs can be divided into two main groups:  the lower-pitched gongs and the higher-pitched gongs.  Kenongs are considered higher-pitched gongs.  As for Ketuk and Kempyang, Ketuk produces lower pitch then the Kempyang.  The Ketuk and the lower-pitched gongs on the Bonangs have the similar shape as the hanging gongs.   Indeed, they are the small version of the hanging gongs.  Like the hanging gongs, they have a flat surface with a protruding knob at the center of the surface.  The other higher-pitched cradled gongs do not have a flat surface, but a surface with slopes up to the protruding knob.

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