About the writer
Glossary of terms

The Story
Finding Cultural Identity
in Gamelan

The Video
Barong Dragon Dance

The Sounds
Audio Organology

The Photos
Golden Beats:
Burat Wangi Rehearsal



Presented by Elisa Hough
Specialized Journalism (the Arts)
Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
University of Southern California
© 2012

Audio Organology

In musical terms, organology is the study of musical instruments and their classification. This organology project presents all the instruments in Gamelan Burat Wangi with audio examples of each. Click an instrument to hear a short demonstration played by Tyler Yamin.

The bronze in these instruments is an alloy of 10 parts copper and three parts tin. Unless otherwise noted, all wooden components are from jackfruit trees.



ugal (oo-GAWL)
  • Idiophone
  • 10 bronze keys suspended over wooden frame with bamboo pipe resonators, wooden mallet
  • Considered the leader, playing embellished melody, placed at center of all keyed instruments
  • In Balinese, “ugal” also means “first-born” child, hence the instrument's prominent position



kantilan (kahn-TEE-lahn)
  • Idiophone
  • 10 bronze keys suspended over wooden frame with bamboo pipe resonators, wooden mallet
  • Highest pitched of the three melodic keyed instruments, plays same notes as the pemade


pemade (puh-MAH-day)
  • Idiophone
  • 10 bronze keys suspended over wooden frame with bamboo pipe resonators, wooden mallet
  • Usually four in one ensemble, following the basic pattern of the ugal in interlocking pairs
  • made” translates to “second born,” making it next in line behind the ugal




kendang (ken-DONG)
  • Membranophone
  • Wooden drum with cow skin heads, rawhide tension straps, wooden beater
  • Must follow signals from dancers then signal rest of the players, so only played by most advanced performers

trompong (TROM-pong)
  • Idiophone
  • 10 bronze pots, wooden frame without resonators, long padded beaters
  • Played by one person, with some freedom to improvise



jegog (jeh-GAWG)
  • Idiophone
  • Five bronze keys suspended over wooden frame with bamboo pipe resonators, cloth-covered beater
  • Plays basic slow melody



calung (CHA-loong)
  • Idiophone
  • Five bronze keys suspended over wooden frame with bamboo pipe resonators, wooden mallet with rubber padded head
  • Follows same pattern as jegog



reong (REE-ong)
  • Idiophone
  • 12 bronze pots, wooden frame without resonators, beater sticks covered with knit yarn
  • Normally played by four players at once, shifting between on- and offbeat parts



ceng-ceng (CHENG cheng)
  • Idiophone
  • Five small bronze cymbals attached to a solid wooden base, played by striking with two handheld cymbals
  • The ceng-ceng player is usually considered the apprentice drummer



suling (soo-LING)
  • Aerophone
  • Bamboo end-blown flute
  • Three sizes in varying octaves play together with freedom to improvise melodies



kempur (kem-POOR) and gong (GONG)
  • Idiophones
  • Largest bronze gongs hung in wooden frames, cloth-covered beater
  • Sets basic rhythmic structure, played by one person, usually elders

kempli (kem-PLEE)
  • Idiophone
  • Single bronze pot suspended in wooden frame, cloth-covered beater
  • Plays steady quarter notes



klenang (kluh-NONG)
  • Idiophone
  • Single tiny bronze pot set in a wooden frame, padded beater
  • Alternates with the kempli



kemong (keh-MONG)
  • Idiophone
  • Smallest bronze gong hung in wooden frame, cloth-covered beater
  • One person usually plays all three hanging gongs