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    Javanese Gamelan music Essay

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    The English translation of the Indonesian expression “gametal” is mallet, and refers to a collection of instruments played in traditional Javanese Gametal music. Road, 2002 The genre of pieces being played determines the ensemble number, but a regular Gametal orchestra can sound up to 40 instruments, as each part is usually doubled thus creating a thick wall of sound. Traditional Javanese Gametal music too western ear, which is conditioned in the harmonics of major and minor scales, may appear to be “clashing” or “out of tune” but this is because each instrument in a Gametal ensemble is not set to same scale structures and tuning.

    Typical compositions are written with two scales in mind, namely the slender scale, consisting of five notes and the seven-note people scale. Gordon AAA, Bibb [O]) Unlike in Western Music, where consonance of sound is treasured and found in the vertical placement of notes forming chords, Javanese Gametal music creates consonance in the formation of horizontal melodic lines. This creates a sense of tension and release in the music, which is highly characterized by Javanese Gametal music.

    The melody of a single instrument cannot be conceived as separable from the whole sound of the ensemble. When listening to Javanese Gametal music, one gets a sense of oneness amongst the instruments, as each melodic line and rhythmic pattern is treated equally by the players and therefore a strong sense of polyphony is conceived. (Prolusion 2011 There is never any conductor in the sense of Western music traditions but the Gametal ensemble is often lead with subtle cues by the drum, the “Kandahar” and lute, the “rehab. (Harriet and Perlman’s n. D. [O]) There are eight main instruments that form a Javanese Gametal ensemble, and The Gametal instruments known as the Boning is one part of the gong-instrument family, imprisoning of a set of kettle gongs placed on a rack that are held up by a cord. The Boning instrument is played with both hands using a type of beater or mallet, for both resonating and dampening the instrument.

    The Saran holds the melody line of Gametal compositions, known as the “baling” and it is from this melodic formation that the ensemble instruments elaborate and derive their own parts. (Peters n. D. The Sleuthed is a low pitched tubular instrument, reminiscent of an African xylophone and usually highlights the melody of the Saran. Thin metal bars that are amplified and sustained by tubular resonators characterize the multi-octave instruments known as the Gender.

    The gongs of a Javanese gametal orchestra are a few, namely the Ketchup, Kenton, Gong are used to indicate the musical form of piece; therefore they don’t sound consistently. The Peking is played by a small mallet made from animal horn and plays an adoption of the main melody, an octave higher than the Saran. The Kandahar drum of the Javanese Gametal ensemble consists of a skin head that is played with the hands and is used also to punctuate and mark the music’s various sections. (Drummond n. D. Javanese Gametal music By boomed

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