Gamelan music is complicated. It is an ancient form of music and has been handed down for manygenerations, never written down, butlearned by being played. Gamelan is an essential part of Indonesian life. It is slightly different from island to island.
consists of all kinds of instruments (plucked, bowed string, percussion and woodwind instruments). There are four sub kindsof Wong Mahori, viz. Wong Mahori Khrueang Si, Wong Mahori Khrueang Hok, Wong Mahori Khrueang Diao and Wong Mahori Khrueang Khu.The number of musical instruments inthese sub groups ranges from six to twenty- three pieces.
The Jakhay is generally believed to have evolved from the Indian instrument the "Vina" or "Bina". The name Jakhay comes from the Thai word Ja- ra-ke which means Crocodile the instrumentresembling the shape of one.The resemblance to a crocodile was more prominent in the earlier days when the resonance chamber or body ofthe instrument was made to resemble a crocodile body and the front end was carved in the shape of crocodile jaws.These days the resemblance is more general way.
The instrument is usually played in a floor sitting position with the instrument horizontal to the floorboards.The instrument has three strings whichstretch all the way along the body, and up onto the neck . Of the three strings two are made of gut and one of brass wire.Each string is attached to a tuning peg mounted in the neck.The strings pass over 11 frets ,the height of which is graded from 2cm near the soundchamber to 3.5 cm nearest to the tuning pegs.The strings are plucked with a plectrum made of bone or ivory. The body section is 9-11 cm (3 1/2" - 4 1/2") deep.52 cm (20 1/2") long and 28 cm(11") wide.The tail or neck is 81 cm (32") long.The entire length of the instrument 130-132 cm (52").