Capture the exotic sights and sounds of Indonesia with this classroom gamelan pack for 20 players
. This is a set of budget
instruments based on the musical traditions of Java, Bali, and Sumatra and includes:
- 3x gongs (30cm 'kenong', 40cm 'kempul' , 50cm 'ageng')
- 1x Balinese double headed 'ciblon' drum
- 6x metallophone gamelans (2 small, 2 medium, and 2 large)
- 10x sets of 'ceng ceng' Balinese cymbals
- Beaters for all the instruments
- 2 different teaching guides by World Music expert Andy Gleadhill
All metallophones in the budget
set are made from recycled metal in wooden frames with rubber bases, and contain individual sound chambers for each note.
Like all the classroom gamelan packs they're tuned to the pelog selisir
scale and have a combined range of three octaves. The Balinese drum is made of jackfruit wood with cow-skin heads and the gongs feature an extra resonant bronze centres.
Each of the classroom packs come in two versions - budget and standard. All instruments are made in Bali and decorated in traditional colours so look and sound authentic. Unlike conventional gamelan sets which are each forged and tuned uniquely, the instruments in these packs have been standardised to make it possible for schools to add to their orchestra at a later date. Here's some footage of one of Andy's workshops featuring instruments from the standard
The peculiar pentatonic music has been a feature of Indonesian culture for at least 1500 years, and is traditionally played at weddings, funerals, and religious festivals, as well as the famous Wayang Kulit
shadow puppet shows. Ensembles vary greatly, with some including flutes, bowed strings, and singers.
The music they play is written down using numbers, a system known as cipher notation. The comprehensive teaching guide supplied with the gamelan contains 10 songs to play using a simplified cipher, as well as lesson plans, explanations of playing techniques and a detailed history of the music.