The instrument in front is essentially a set of small gongs mounted on a rack, played with cord-wrapped sticks. The one behind is like a metal xylophone.

2 responses to “templeIMG_0321

  1. Jeff Abell

    There are actually two kinds of kettle-gongs: the trompong is a 2-octave solo instrument; the reyang is intended for two players sitting side-by-side, playing in the distinctive Balinese method of two-parts-that-add-up-to-one called kotekan. The metalophones are collectively called gangsa, though the bigger ones are jegogan. They have different names depending on the role they play in the ensemble. Next trip to Bali, look for a copy of Michael Tenzer’s Balinese Music, which you’ll find all over: from Periplus Editions in Singapore. Tenzer is one of the generation of Americans who discovered Balinese music in the 1970s (like me).

    • lagueux

      Jeff, would you believe I actually have a copy of Tenzer’s book on my shelf in Chicago? (Well, technically it’s packed in a box right now, but you know what I mean.) Balinese music was one of my Ph.D. qualifying exams topics, and for a while there I could actually distinguish among all of the various ensembles pretty readily, and even hum passable pelog and slendro ‘scales.’ But I had never seen an actual gamelan in person, so it was a bit of a homecoming/pilgrimage (can it be both?) to actually get to play with one, made all the better by the fact that it was an actively used temple gamelan.

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