- Gamelan in Australia and New Zealand - Profiles of gamelan groups, recordings, courses, mailing list, and links.
- Gamelan Mitra Kusuma - A Balinese gamelan based in Washington, DC, presents information on the instruments, audio samples, performance schedule, classes, and a mailing list.
- Gamelan Semara Santi of Swarthmore College - Information about gamelan in general, including audio clips, and about Swarthmore's gamelan program and how to join.
- Gamelan Sinar Surya (Santa Barbara) - A Santa Barbara-based organization dedicated to preservation, teaching and performing traditional Gamelan music of Indonesia and Malaysia. Photo gallery and mp3 samples from their first CD.
- Gamelan-L Mailing List - This list is for anyone with a scholarly, artistic, or practical interest in gamelan. Archives available.
- Gendhing Jawa - Javanese Gamelan notation [PDF].
- Monkey C - Experimental gamelan band from Santa Barbara, California present virtual gamelan instruments, audio samples, band and instrument profiles, and links.
- Musical Malaysia: the Malay Gamelan - And introduction to the music and instruments with photographs and audio and video samples.
- One People Voice - One People Voice, based in Oakland, CA, is a hybrid processional orchestra and chant ensemble, utilizing gongs and drums from Bali which are interwoven with other world and western instruments. Includes information on their kids program, workshop schedule, guestbook, and photo gallery.
- American Gamelan Institute (AGI) - Devoted to publishing, recording, distributing, and making available information on all aspects of Indonesian performing arts and their international counterparts. Web radio station, library, recordings, books, directory of gamelan groups, and links.
- Gamelan Pacifica - Arts organization and home of the Gamelan Pacifica ensemble, Seattle Creative Orchestra, Mary Sheldon Scott/Jarrad Powell Performance, and the Kali Project. Profiles, photographs, performance schedules, and links.
- Gamelan Sekar Jaya - A nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to the study and presentation of traditional and contemporary performing arts of Bali. Five various kinds of gamelan ensembles with contact information, recordings, and information on gamelan, kotekan, and Balinese music.
A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring metallophones, xylophone(s), drums, and gongs. The term can be used to refer either to the set of instruments or the players of those instruments. Traditionally, "gamelan" comes from the Javanese word "gamel", meaning hammer.
Drums - Indonesian Embassy in CanberraGamelan orchestras are common to the Indonesian islands of Java, Madura, Bali, and Lombok (and other Sunda Islands), in a wide variety of ensemble sizes and formations. In Bali and Lombok today, and in Java through the 18th century, the term "gong" is or was preferred to or synonymous with gamelan. Traditions of gamelan have long been established in Malaysia and Suriname due to emigration, trade, or diplomacy. More recently, through immigration and local enthusiasm, gamelan ensembles have become active throughout Europe, The Americas, Asia, and Australia.
Gongs - Indonesian Embassy in CanberraAlthough gamelan ensembles sometimes include solo and choral voices, plucked and/or bowed string and wind instruments, they are most notable for the large number of percussion instruments, mostly metal. A central Javanese gamelan ensemble includes:
metallophones called saron and gendér (sets of metals bars laid out in a single row and struck like a glockenspiel)
small gongs called bonang and kenong (sets of large, drum-shaped gongs laid out horizontally on stands)
xylophone-like instruments called gambang (similar to saron and gendér but with wooden bars instead of metal ones)
a variety of hanging gongs and drums
Metals used include bronze, brass, and iron, with a 10:3 copper-to-tin bronze alloy usually considered the best material. In addition, there are gamelan ensembles composed entirely of bamboo-keyed instruments, of bamboo flutes, of zithers, or of unaccompanied voices with the functions of metallophones or gongs in the metal ensemble transferred to surrogates.
top of the page