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Arts and Culture, Music

gamelan orchestra, zithers, instrumental role, gongs, flutes

The gamelan, a drum and gong orchestra, is the best known of Indonesia’s classical music forms. The word gamelan comes from the Javanese word gamel, which refers to a type of hammer. The main instruments in the gamelan orchestra include gongs, bronze xylophones, bronze kettles on a horizontal frame, drums, flutes, zithers, and a two-stringed bowed instrument. The gamelan performs both in an instrumental role as well as in a supportive role for dance and puppet performances. The three major gamelan styles in Indonesia are based on Sundanese culture, central Javanese culture, and Balinese culture. The Balinese form, gamelan gong kebyar, has a faster tempo than the others.



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