Gamelan in Bali, Indonesia

Gamelan means "to strike." It is an Indonesian ensemble of mostly percussion instruments that dates back to the third century. It is still VERY popular in Bali, especially in and around the Ubud, where performances occur daily and nightly for both locals and tourists.

Although a player may be featured center-stage, ensembles usually play on the side of the stage, accompanying other performers.

 

Remains of an old Gamelan Selonding instrument in the Bali Museum in Denpasar.

Gamelan at the Ubud Palace.

The following photos were taken at Gong Yudha in Tihingan.

The brass is heated until it is red hot, then hammered, reheated, then hammered, over and over until it has been forged into the proper shape.

The keys are shaped and tuned with files.

The carved frame is painted red, then gold.

To purchase this gamelan, please contact I Ketut Suwena, Gong Yudha, Jl. Gong Gede No. 4, Tihingan, Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia, telephone: (0366) 22323.

Many specialists are involved in creating the gamelan. The following photos were taken at Sidha Karya in Banjar..

The keys are cast in the molds seen below. Later they are placed in the coals until red hot, then hand forged by skilled blacksmiths.

Crucibles and molds for the keys.

Next, the keys are cleaned with an electric grinder (on the right), then hit with a striker . . .

. . . and filed for tuning. The gongs are also tuned with a file.

The frames are carved and painted by other specialists.

This gamelan is looking for a home. To purchase it, please contact I Made Gabeleran & Sons, Sidha Karya, Banjar, Babakan, Blahbatuh - Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia, telephone: (0361) 942798.

Links:
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Recommended Guides:
Competent bilingual guides (with their own vehicles) are essential. Rudy (arranged through Tutut) was my fabulous guide in Bali.

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Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura.