Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
Asia-Pacific Database on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

Home | Performing Arts
Performing Arts
 
Indonesia

Gamelan Gambang


Indonesia_A02_GamelangGambang

From Sri Hastanto's Collection


Gambang is the name of an idiophone instrument of which the sound source is made of wood. In North Bali the name of this instrument is used also as the name of its ensemble, which consists of four gambang and four gangsa, another kind of instrument with sound source made of bronze.


Reasons for selection

Gamelan Gambang is one of the rare ensembles found in Bali. It is considered as one of the ancient ensemble. As we know that Balinese music nowadays is flooded by kebyar style, it is important that the rare music like gamelan gambang emerge. This music is used for religious ceremonies only.


Area where performed

Krobokan (Buleleng region, North Bali)


Essential elements of the performing art

Music


Detailed explanation

Gambang is the name of an idiophone instrument of which the source of sound is made of wood. In North Bali the name of this instrument is used also as the name of its ensemble. The ensemble itself consists of four gambang and four gangsa, another kind of instrument with sound source made of bronze. The four gambang are categorized into two groups: the first two are large, called penyading and panyereg, and the other group, smaller than the first are panyelat and pemetit. During a performance penyading and panyelat will play on beat, while panyereg and pemetit will play offbeat. The combination of the two ways of playing builds a very rich interlocking pattern. Unlike the gambang the gangsa is played in a simpler way compared to the gambang. The gangsa acts as melodic pillars in this music.

The tuning system used in this music is similar to pentatonic and is close to slendro tuning system. Unlike the other instruments that place their bars from low to high notes consecutively, the gambang do not follow the regulation as shown in the photograph.

This music is used only for religious ceremonies that are pitra yadnya (ceremonies for death), manusa yadnya (ceremony for people who are still alive), as well as dewa yadnya (ceremony for the gods).


Publication and textual documentation

N/A


Audio documentation

very limited (for example purposes only)


Visual documentation

very limited (for example purposes only)


Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

1. Directorate for the Arts, Directorate General for Culture, Department of National Education of Indonesia.
2. Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (Indonesia College of the Arts), Denpasar, Bali.


Data provider

Dr. Sri Hastanto
Director for the Arts
Directorate for the Arts, Directorate General for Culture, Department of National Education
Address: Gedung E Lantai-9 Komplek Depdikbud, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia