: of or relating to the use of specific instruments to mark off established time intervals especially in traditional Indonesian music As in Java, the rhythmic structure of Balinese gamelan pieces is manifest in a colotomic framework played on various sizes of gongs.—
The colotomic structure of a piece is the length of the cycle and how the interpunctuating instruments play during that cycle, but they are also musical forms which are associated with specific structural patterns on a larger scale than the colotomic cycle, and guidelines for what tempi and irama may be used.
Gamelan ensembles are built to play one of two musical scales: Pelog and Slendro. PELOG is a newer scale with seven uneven pitches and SLENDRO is an older scale with five even pitches.
The music is divided into 4 beat groups, this whole rhythmic cycle is called the gongan. The gongs divide gongan into sections, gong ageng, the largest gong, marks the end of gongan, the smaller gongs mark the 4th or 8th beat and the smallest gongs outline the pulse.
Javanese gamelan music divides a song into several parts, called part A, part B, part C (if any), etc. In each part, every instrument has different playing pattern. We use the term pattern to represent a combination of notation and periodicities arise between notes.
Kotekan are “sophisticated interlocking parts,” “characteristic of gong kebyar and several other Balinese gamelan styles, that combine to create the illusion of a single melodic line that often sounds faster than any single human could possibly play.” According to Colin McPhee: “Composed of two rhythmically opposing …
The gong ageng (or gong gedhe in Ngoko Javanese, means large gong) is an Indonesian musical instrument used in the Javanese gamelan. It is the largest of the bronze gongs in the Javanese and Balinese gamelan orchestra and the only large gong that is called gong in Javanese.
The Indonesian word gamelan refers to a set of instruments which are always categorised and played together as an ensemble.
Gamelan music is characterised by the following: the lower the pitch, the longer the note values. the highest layers are for virtuoso solo instruments played with notes of shorter duration. the lowest gongs are often played by beginners.
The pitches of the seven-tone pélog tuning system are designated by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7; while the five-tone slendro pitches are notated as 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. The octaves are noted by dots above and below the numbers, as in Chinese jianpu, although of course the pitches do not correspond.
The çeng is a Turkish harp. It was a popular Ottoman instrument until the last quarter of the 17th century.
Contextual Associations. The kendhang gendhing is a double-headed membranophone of the Javanese people of the island of Java, Indonesia. It is the largest of three hand drums typically found in a modern Central Javanese gamelan set. This instrument itself is not viewed as possessing extra-musical significance.
A gambang, properly called a gambang kayu (‘wooden gambang’) is a xylophone-like instrument used among people of Indonesia in gamelan and kulintang, with wooden bars as opposed to the metallic ones of the more typical metallophones in a gamelan.
They are played two ways: according to a subtle, flowing, quiet manner associated with singing and gentle dancing, and according to a powerful, louder manner associated with heroic dance. A fixed melody is the basis for complex vocal and instrumental improvisation.
Javanese gamelan has soft and slow tones, while Balinese gamelan has strong and dynamic tones with fast music rhythms, while Sundanese gamelan which is dominated by the sound of flutes makes it not only soft but also mellow.
The Javanese gamelan is an orchestra of 60-plus musical instruments – bronze gongs and metallophones, drums, wooden flute and two-stringed fiddle – which together create a rich, distinctive sound.