Primary Source

Javanese Gamelan

Javanese Gamelan Ensemble during a traditional Javanese Wedding Ceremony


Here, a Javanese gamelan (court orchestra) performs at a traditional wedding ceremony in Indonesia. A gamelan relies on intricate music played on expensive, exquisite bronze instruments to convey their community's values, ideals, and self-image. What the gamelan performs depends on context. In a private, intimate court setting, the gamelan displays the elegance and largesse of its patrons. In a Western urban concert hall, the gamelan helps to activate some curious listeners’ appetite for the “exotic” sounds of the East. Among Indonesians, the gamelan helps activate cyclical concepts of time and beliefs in reincarnation that predominate in the Hindu religion.

This source is a part of the Analyzing Music methods module.


"Gamelan," Wikipedia,

How to Cite This Source

"Javanese Gamelan," in World History Commons, [accessed June 1, 2023]