from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An Indonesian orchestra composed mainly of tuned percussion instruments such as bamboo xylophones, wooden or metal chimes, and gongs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A genre of music of Indonesian origin typically featuring metallophones, xylophones, drums, gongs and a bamboo flute (called a siuling).
  • n. The name of the ensemble performing this style of music.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a traditional Indonesian ensemble typically including many tuned percussion instruments including bamboo xylophones and wooden or bronze chimes and gongs


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Javanese, from Old Javanese gamĕlan, percussion instrument, ensemble of percussion instruments, from gamĕl, to play a percussion instrument.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Malay gamelan, from Javanese gamelan.


  • Western keyboard and hammered instruments have go from low to high as you move to the right — I believe the xylophone-like instruments in gamelan orchestras are like this too — which means that the more technically difficult lines are more often played with the right hand.

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  • And it's wonderful because the gamelan is like a microcosm of how the Balinese live.

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  • A gamelan is a musical instrument from Indonesia - typically from the islands of Bali or Java - featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs, bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. - News

  • The skeleton rehearsal orchestra started up: a double-sided drum, a gamelan which is a sort of oriental xylophone and a big wooden wheel festooned with tinkling bells.

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  • Brisbane (ANTARA News) - Konsulat RI di Darwin memperkenalkan permainan "gamelan", alat musik kas Jawa, kepada siswa dari sejumlah sekolah di Australia, melalui sebuah lokakarya seni budaya Nusantara.

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  • For instance, anyone who has heard Balinese gamelan knows that it is fast and furious compared to Malay (Terengganu) gamelan which is more stately, relaxed and melodious.


  • The last time gamelan hit the headlines was when some rabble-rousers accused Malaysia of "stealing" cultural heritage, such as gamelan, from Indonesia.


  • John Cage's "Amores" joined the gamelan-like sound of prepared piano, played by Lin, with parts for three percussionists.

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  • Touring opposite the reliably charming Penguin Cafe is the chillout, gamelan and Steve Reich-influenced Portico Quartet – another popular engaging bunch of mavericks.

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  • "Biophilia" is built in large part on instruments Björk and her team invented, including a bronze keyboard that's a cross between a celesta and a gamelan, a digital pipe organ, a Tesla coil that replicates rumbling bass, and a series of 30-foot-tall sound-producing pendulums.

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