Picture Credit: Dr. Han Kuo-Huang
Listen to Gong Ageng
Gong Ageng is the largest hanging gong in Javanese gamelan. It is also the lowest-pitched gong in the gamelan. Like the Kempul, Gong Ageng has a flat surface with a protruding knob at the center of the sphere. The number of Gong Ageng in a Javanese gamelan varied from gamelan to gamelan. Usually there will be at least one Gong Ageng, and it is usually hang at the back of the gamelan.
Gong Ageng can vary in size. Normally, it is approximately 85cm in diameter. It is certainly the heaviest and the most expensive item in the gamelan. The mallet used to struck the Gong Ageng has a bigger spherical heads then other mallets, and is covered with heavy padding. The player has to play very gentle on Gong Ageng.
Gong Ageng is also the most important instrument in a Javanese gamelan. It is to believe that Gong Ageng is the spirit of the gamelan, hence, it is the most respected item in a gamelan. Like most of the gongs, except Bonang, the function of Gong Ageng is more for punctuation.
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