- /gam"euh lan', -leuhn/, n.an Indonesian orchestra consisting of bowed stringed instruments, flutes, and a great variety of percussion instruments.Also, gamelin /gam"euh lin/.[1810-20; < Javanese, equiv. to gamel song accompanied by a gamelan + -an nominalizing suffix]
* * *Indigenous orchestra of Java and Bali and, more generally, of Indonesia and Malaysia.A gamelan usually consists largely of gongs, xylophones, and metallophones (rows of tuned metal bars struck with a mallet). Gamelan polyphony is complex and many-voiced. The melody is taken by the voice, flute, or rebab (a bowed stringed instrument); under it, most of the other instruments provide rhythmic paraphrases of the melody, producing a shimmering, variegated texture. The gamelan has influenced many Western composers, including Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, John Cage, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass.
* * *▪ Indonesian orchestraalso spelled gamelang or gamelinthe indigenous orchestra type of Java and Bali, consisting largely of several varieties of gongs and various sets of tuned metal instruments that are struck with mallets. The gongs are either suspended vertically or, as with the knobbed-centre, kettle-shaped bonang, placed flat. Percussive melodic instruments include sets of tuned bonangs, xylophones (the gambang kayu), and metallophones (these are instruments with a series of tuned metal plates, either suspended over a resonance trough or on resonance tubes). A sustained melody is played either by the bamboo flute (the suling) or by a bowed string instrument (rebab (kamanjā)) or is sung—the last especially when, as often occurs, the gamelan is used to accompany theatrical performances, or wayangs (wayang). The voice is then part of the orchestral texture. Dominating these two groups of instruments is the drum (the kendang), which unites them and acts as leader. Javanese gamelans frequently include singers, while Balinese gamelans consist exclusively of percussion instruments. Many types of gamelans, of different sizes and for a variety of purposes, may be distinguished.No two gamelans are precisely alike tonally, for each instrument is tuned only to the gamelan for which it is intended rather than to an external standard of pitch. A gamelan typically consists of two sets of instruments, one tuned to the scale of slendro (in which the octave is divided into five tones roughly equidistant) and the other to pelog (a scale consisting of seven notes of varying intervals of which five are given principal stress). The modes (patet) of gamelan music are determined by the relative placement on either scale of the basic note (dong) and its fifth above and fifth below. (A fifth is an interval more or less the size of that formed by five adjacent white keys on a piano.)The highly developed polyphony (multipart music) or heterophony (music in which one part varies a melody played simultaneously in another part) of the gamelan has a rhythmic origin. A nuclear theme extends over a number of “bars” (almost invariably in 4/4 time), against which other instruments play a largely independent countermelody. Another group plays rhythmic paraphrases of this theme, and a fourth group fills out the texture with delicate rhythmic patterns. Highly important are the punctuating, or colotomic (colotomic structure), instruments that divide the musical sentence, marking, as it were, the commas, semicolons, and periods. This last-named function is done with the big gong. Over this shimmering, variegated pattern of hammered sound floats the uninterrupted melodic line of the voice, the flute, or the rebab.Additional ReadingResources on the subjects of Indonesian music in general and gamelan in particular include Michael B. Bakan, Music of Death and New Creation: Experiences in the World of Balinese Gamelan Beleganjur (1999); Colin McPhee, Music in Bali: A Study in Form and Instrumental Organization in Balinese Orchestral Music (1966); Henry Spiller, Gamelan: The Traditional Sounds of Indonesia (2004); Sumarsam, Gamelan: Cultural Interaction and Musical Development in Central Java (1995); Michael Tenzer, Gamelan Gong Kebyar: The Art of Twentieth-Century Balinese Music (2000).
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Gamelan — in der Indonesischen Botschaft in Canberra Gamelan bezeichnet sowohl eine Gruppe von Musikstilen traditioneller Musik auf Java und Bali als auch die Musikinstrumentenensembles, mit denen diese Musik gespielt wird. Inhaltsverzeichnis … Deutsch Wikipedia
Gamelan — au début du XXe siècle Le gamelan est un ensemble instrumental traditionnel caractéristique des musiques javanaise et sundanaise. Par extension, on utilise également le mot pour désigner l orchestre balinais, qu on app … Wikipédia en Français
GAMELAN — GAMELA Nom indonésien (employé au masculin en français), le gamelan désigne, à Java et à Bali, des orchestres où prédominent les instruments de percussion en bronze. Il existe différents types de gamelans dont le nom, comme le nombre et la nature … Encyclopédie Universelle
gamelan — gamèlān m <G gamelána> DEFINICIJA glazb. sastav narodnih instrumenata (pretežno idiofonih udaraljki) na otocima Javi i Baliju ETIMOLOGIJA jav. ≃ gamel: pjesma koja se pjeva uz gamelan … Hrvatski jezični portal
gamelan — East Indian orchestra, 1817, from Javanese gamel to handle … Etymology dictionary
gamelan — [gam′ə lan΄] n. [Jav, a bamboo xylophone] a musical ensemble of Indonesia, consisting of wind, string, and percussion instruments, as flute, lute, gongs, drums, and bamboo xylophones … English World dictionary
Gamelan — A gamelan is a musical ensemble of Indonesia typically featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and vocalists may also be included. The term refers more to… … Wikipedia
Gamelan — Parte de un Gamelan. Pa … Wikipedia Español
Gamelan — Ga|me|lan 〈n. 15〉 javan. Orchester mit Schlaginstrumenten, auch Blas u. Streichinstrumenten, zu kultischen Veranstaltungen u. Schattenspielen; oV Gamelang [<malaiisch] * * * I Gamelan [nach den auf der indonesischen Insel Java populären… … Universal-Lexikon
gamelan — Orquesta autóctona de Java y Bali y, en términos más generales, de Indonesia y Malasia. En gran medida, un gamelan consiste habitualmente en gongs, xilófonos y metalófonos (series de barras metálicas afinadas percutidas con un macillo o baqueta) … Enciclopedia Universal