Indonesia is an archipelago in Southeast Asia
comprising approximately 17, 500 islands. With over
238 million people, Indonesia is the world’s fourth
most populous country and is the fourth biggest
nation in the world.
Through interaction with other cultures such as
Indian, Arabic, Chinese and European, a wide range
of musical styles has been developed. Today, the
contemporary music of Indonesia is popular not only
in the region but also in the neighboring countries.
There are two basic kinds of Indonesian
•Slendro – pentatonic scale
•Pelog – heptatonic scale
•Slendro (called Salendro by the
Sundanese) is the older of the
two most common scales used
in Indonesian Gamelan scale.
Pelog is one of the two essential
scales of Gamelan. In Javanese the
term is said to be a variant of the
word “pelag” meaning fine or
beautiful. Pelog has seven notes,
but many gamelan ensembles only
have keys for five of the pitches.
Even in ensembles that have all
seven notes, many pieces only use
a subset of five notes.
Both vocal and instrumental music
in Indonesia use slendro or pelog.
•Polyphonic Stratification kind of
melody is a result of hocket/interlock.
•Irama – is an Indonesian term for
The gamelan or gamelan orchestra is the most
popular form of music in Indonesia. It is a generic
term for traditional musical
ensembles of Java and Bali which comprises
predominantly of percussive instruments.
Instruments used in gamelan:
• Kendang and Gongs
• Bamboo Flutes (Suling)
A metallophone is any musical
instrument consisting of tuned metal bars
which are struck to make sound, usually with
KENDANG AND GONGS
Gongs are broadly of three types.
'Suspended gongs are more or less flat,
circular discs of metal suspended vertically
by means of a cord passed through holes
near to the top rim. Bossed gongs have a
raised centre boss and are often suspended
and played horizontally. Bowl gongs are
bowl-shaped, and rest on cushions and
belong more to bells than gongs. Gongs are
made mainly from bronze or brass but there
are many other alloys in use.
KENDANG AND GONGS
Indonesian gongs are percussion instruments that
have a unique, bowl-like appearance, and a round
knob in the center. They're commonly used in
traditional gamelan music ensembles.
BAMBOO FLUTES (SULING)
Suling or Seruling is
an Indonesian bamboo ring flute. It is used
in gamelan ensembles. Depending on the regional
genre, a suling can be tuned into different scales.
Sulings are made mainly of "tamiang" bamboo, a
long, thin-walled bamboo tube. The mouthpiece of
the suling is circled with a thin band made
of rattan near a small hole.
The bonang is a musical instrument used in
the Javanese gamelan. It is a collection of small
gongs (sometimes called "kettles" or "pots") placed
horizontally onto strings in a wooden frame (rancak),
either one or two rows wide. All of the kettles have a
central boss, but around it the lower-pitched ones
have a flattened head, while the higher ones have
an arched one. They are typically hit with padded