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Gamelan The Traditional Orchestra From Java – A Music From Heaven
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Gamelan The Traditional Orchestra From Java – A Music From Heaven

The South East Asia Culture has a very specific in the traditional musical instrument. In Java and Bali, Indonesia there is an ethnic music ensemble called Gamelan.

Gamelan is featuring various of traditional instruments, like gong, bamboo flute, many types of xylophones, with the vocalists. Gamelan is a set of instruments built and tunes to stay together.

Gamelan was born during the Hindu – Buddha Era and developed into the current form when Java was still a Kingdom named Majapahit on the 14th century.

In Javanese mythology, gamelan was created by The God of all Java Kingdom, as his summons by the Gong.

Gamelan always connected to the spiritual ceremonies, such as Javanese marriages, Coronation of a King, and gamelan has important role on these ceremonies as ceremonies without gamelan would not seen as official and perfect.

Gamelan usually accompanies the dances and puppet performance Wayang, a performance about Indian Epic Ramayana and Mahabharata, where also the Hindu sacred teaching “Veda” is described in the story.

Gamelan now is starting to get known by foreigners, as many western people now are playing the instruments as an orchestra.

A complete gamelan orchestra could have around 40 instruments, that mostly made of wood. The drummer is the conductor that will lead the rhythm and tempo of the songs.

The music is very complicated, and the traditional players are playing the instruments with their heart. They are learning by doing for many generations, and only now the western players figuring out this music in notes and writing.

The sounds of the music could be very soothing and calming, although it can also be played hard where it can express anger , especially in accompanying a fight dance between the demon and the hero .

Bali also have a gamelan, but the difference is only in the tone of the music. Balinese gamelan is more alive and allegro, compare to the javanese gamelan.

The woman vocalist sings in a super alto tone, which is the unique characteristic of the gamelan song.

When you are listening to gamelan music, you will hear the magical melodious music that will enter your inner soul.

A book called “Music of Java” by Jaap Kunts says : “Gamelan is comparable only with two things, moonlight and flowing of water. Mysterious like moonlight, and always changing like flow of water.”

The Best Gamelan instrument sets in Java belong the to 4 Royal Palaces in Solo and Jogyakarta, Central Java.

Those gamelans are perfect in sounds, beautiful and have a long history as ancient as the Palace itself, and valued as the treasure of the Palaces as their heirloom. In the ancient Java era, heirloom considered as the power and authority of a Javanese King. They even gave names to these gamelan sets.

Gamelan is an instrument that its melody can connect our inner soul with the universe, so it is like the Sound and Rhythm of Heaven.


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