Meaning of gamelan in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɡamɪlan/


  • A traditional instrumental ensemble in Java and Bali, including many bronze percussion instruments.

    ‘It is performed by a simplified gamelan orchestra blending soft-sounding percussion instruments with the melancholy sounds of a flute.’
    • ‘Singers, both solo and in chorus, are frequently an important part of the gamelan and the ensemble is controlled by the kendang player, who signals changes of speed, mood, and music.’
    • ‘He built several gamelans (Indonesian percussion orchestras) and composed extensively for them.’
    • ‘The show is usually accompanied by a small gamelan (musical ensemble).’
    • ‘The gamelan of Bali in particular attracted him, as it had Debussy and Ravel, with its sharp contrasts of rippling color and percussive blows.’
    • ‘She last saw the Prince on Monday when he visited the Royal College and played a gamelan, a traditional Indonesian instrument.’
    • ‘Debussy was among those who heard them, and began a tradition of transforming the gamelan into concert music.’
    • ‘In Legong Keraton, as in much Balinese dance, the movement is closely associated with the intricate rhythms produced by the gamelan ensemble.’
    • ‘The instruments of the gamelan produce unique sounds which accompany almost all traditional and religious ceremonies in Bali.’
    • ‘Instead of being accompanied by a traditional gamelan orchestra, the dance was accompanied by the Erwin Gutawa Orchestra along with a choir.’
    • ‘Some 40 people, most of them children, practice Balinese traditional dances and the gamelan at his workshop and home.’
    • ‘He went to the 14 th-century Panataran Temple in Blitar, East Java but found little that could tell him more about gamelan, a musical instrument claimed to be indigenous to the Javanese.’
    • ‘The gamelan instruments were placed on supports high enough for Western musicians to play without having to sit cross-legged.’
    • ‘As a VSO in Indonesia in the 1970s, I found that a state-sponsored ‘new opera’ had been created using puppets and the music of the gamelan.’
    • ‘It sounds great, too, with an on-stage gamelan orchestra.’
    • ‘The gamelan structure therefore provides an excellent scene for musical and cultural socialization.’
    • ‘I will never, for the rest of my life, be bored as long as there are gamelans and players around.’
    • ‘Each gamelan has its own tuning, preventing instruments from being interchanged from one gamelan to another.’
    • ‘The University of Pittsburgh Music Department offers classes in gamelan and African music and dance as part of its program in Ethnomusicology.’
    • ‘A large proportion of Sundanese music is performed on gamelans, sets of bronze or iron instruments supported by carved wooden racks.’


Early 19th century from Javanese.