Balinese Gamelan Information

Balinese Seka Gambang

Gambang sample


The Gambang is a very old ensemble important in certain Hindu ceremonies, especially funeral ceremony ( Ngaben ).There are not many active Gambang groups left in Bali, however, their survival is ensured as a matter of importance. The Gambang is made up of 2 Gangsa (metalophones) and 4-5 instruments with hard bamboo slats set in a strange order to facilitate modes unique to the Gambang.
This order corresponds to the forked mallets used to strike them, each mallet has 2 heads spaced according to the instrument used. The left hand plays the left side of the instrument and the right plays the right side. The intervals formed are approx. 4ths and 5ths in a scale known as Kidung, which is basically a seven tone system, however, it differs from the 7 tone Pelog scales common in Bali and Java.. This Kidung style is pre Majapahit thought to come from the Bali Aga culture of the indigenous Balinese. However, the movement around these islands has been happening over a long period so the origins are hard to establish. The Kidung style along with it's various modes are intrenched in Balinese music today.
The Gangsa plays the beat and basic melody while the bamboo instruments play the chordal backing and rhythmic changes.
'Their is a general belief that the Gambang doesn't play Kotekan because of its origin and age. It seems this ensemble may be the forefather of the more modern gamelans. Listening closely I could hear the reyong repetitive parts being played by the Penjilah instruments, the gangsa sangsih and polos sounds of the Angklung by the Pemetit and the jegogan sounds by the large Penangga Bali and Gangsa .’-- Richard .


Gambang Revival:


I Ketut Suardana has formed the Yayasan "Suara Dana", which means 'gift of music'.
Ketut is a successful silversmith with a love of traditional Balinese music. He has set up the Yayasan at his own expense to revive old music, translating it to Indonesian and rehearsing a group of dedicated players. He has bought the instruments for 2 complete Salonding ensembles, a Gambang ensemble, a Gender Wayang and even a Rare Saron Luang ensemble. He has also built a large attic to house and rehearse these instruments in Celuk,Bali. The Gambang group plays at many important ceremonies around Bali. He is always keen on having more experienced players join the group with the aim of improving the group itself.
The group he has assembled to play the music are mostly locals and family members. they include; Members:
Penanga Bali: I Komang Mustika
Pemero : I Ketut Pujaadi
Pemetit: I Wayan Asmana
Gangsa: I Nyoman Suarjaya
Pengenter: I Ketut Grantipala
PenyIlah: I Rai Sudarsana
Gangsa: I Ketut Suardana



More about tuning:

Gambang - Bali. A pair or quartet of bamboo xylophones played with double, forked, mallets. The bars of Balinese gambang are placed in a non-scalar order to facilitate particular double-stop intervals. Gambang is used for cremation rites and draws it's repertoire and scales from ancient Kidung literature.

The Gambang playing at Pura Besakih, the most important temple in Bali

Gambang in Dlod Pangkung Sukawati Gianyar BALI

The story:
This Traditional Gambang in the village of Dlod Pangkung in Gianyar consists of elderly members of the village. The youth are not interested in learning the Gambang so this will be the last in this village. This music is played from memory, handed down many years ago by their predecessors . The group was joined by a Hindu High Priest (Pedanda) from Sanur ( also in his eighties) and his friends who sing Pupuh with the Seka Gambang .

Pemetit: I Ketut Dayuh
Penyilah: I Wayan Targia
Gangsa: I Made Lanus
Penoro: I Nyoman Mengol
Penanga: I Ketut Cemok


I Made Lanus plays 2 Gangsa together


Musikaal News
Australian Tour
Support Bali Music
Bali music tours
Bali Culture Tour
Bali Gamelans
Bali Music History
Bali Special Events
Bali Villages
Bali Travel Tips
Bali Medical
Bali Airlines
Bali Consulates
Bali Gallery
    © musikaal 2008 - all rights reserved