Gamelan instrument with wooden keys

This instrument with wooden keys is known as the gambang. It is one of the softer instruments that are part of the gamelan ensemble. The term 'gamelan' refers to the action ('an') of hammering ('gamel') bronze instruments such as gongs and drums among several other types of instruments with beaters. The bronze instruments play the main melody and are accompanied by softer wind, wood and string instruments. The practice of taking off shoes and not stepping over the instruments is a sign of respect and it is believed that the correct manner of playing results in refinement of one's character. Toda,y gamelan music remains an important part of court and village life in Java. Many sets are kept as royal heirlooms (pusaka) and are played at important ceremonies.

c. 1960's
Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia
Object size: L154.0 x W40.0 x H57.5 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Musical Instruments