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Indonesian Gamelan Premium 30 Player Class Pack - Budget Buddie

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Description

This 30 player Premium Indonesian Gamelan pack is perfect for whole class instrumental teaching and learning for pupils from age 6 upwards. The "Premium" range is visually arresting and has excellent sound and build quality. It's a good choice if the gamelan will have a permanent home or won't need to be moved around frequently. This Budget Buddies pack contains everything you need to get your own gamelan ensemble off of the ground: playing, performing and composing.

 

The pack includes 10 large instruments (three gongs, including the massively resonant 80cm size, a Balinese drum and 6 metallophones) and 20 sets of ceng ceng (Balinese cymbals), giving you a wide range of authentic Gamelan sounds and making it easy to split the group into buddy threes, each with one big and two smaller instruments.

 

The three sizes of metallophone (each of which are decorated in traditional red, blue and gold with metal keys suspended from bamboo poles over individual sound chambers), give a range of 3 octaves and these and all our gamelan instruments are made in Bali, Indonesia. The metallophones in this budget set use recycled metal for the keys and have low cost wooden casings but they have the same pelog selisir tunings as the more expensive Standard and Premium models and are just as authentic. The Balinese drum is of solid jackfruit wood construction with two cow skin heads and tuning knots and the gong has a bronze centre for improved resonance.

 

The instruments have been specially modified for use in the classroom: the sturdy metal gong stand can be dis-assembled into sections if you need to move it around, the metallophone casings are smooth and have rubber bases to protect the floor surface.

 

Also included are two teaching guides by world music expert Andy Gleadhill: Indonesian Gamelan and Percussion Buddies. Both are written for Class teachers and no prior music training is assumed. Access to online audio and video support is included. The Indonesian Gamelan book will take you from basics through to your first performance in just 10 lessons and there's plenty of repertoire for a year or more of playing with ten pieces, suggestions on teaching delivery and a blank resource to photocopy to assist with planning composition work. The Percussion Buddies book will show you how to develop percussion accompaniments for almost any piece, whether gamelan, drumming, choral, ukelele or any ensemble.

 

How it's Played

The pack includes:

1 x 30cm gong with beater

1 x 50cm gong with beater

1 x 80cm gong with beater

1 x Balinese drum (50cm) with beater

2 x 7 key Premium metallophone, small, with beater

2 x 7 key Premium metallophone, medium, with beater

2 x 7 key Premium metallophone, large, with beater

20 x sets of ceng ceng (Balinese cymbals)

1 x Andy Gleadhill's Indonesian Gamelan Book

1 x Andy Gleadhill's Percussion Buddies Book

The books will tell you everything you need to know to set up the group, get started and develop to performance standard through staged lesson plans. Online access is included to recordings of all the exercises included in the Books. No musical training or knowledge of musical notation is required - just some enthusiasm!

Traditionally

The Gamelan sound is vibrant, colurful and exotic. The music is built up from relatively simple repeated patterns, making it easy to teach and learn. Gamelan playing encourages careful listening, self-confidence and teamwork. It's also a very visual and culturally rich experience and end of term performances can be thoroughly spectacular.The word gamelan comes from the Javanese word gamels, meaning "to strike or hammer".

 

A gamelan is a musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java, featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. Vocalists may also be included.

 

In Bali, the Gamelan instruments are all kept together in the balai banjar, a community meeting hall which has a large open space with a roof over top of it with several open sides. The instruments are all kept here together because they believe that all of the instruments belong to the community as a whole and no one person has ownership over an instrument. Not only is this where the instruments are stored, but this is also the practice space for the sekaha (Gamelan orchestra). The open walls allow for the music to flow out into the community where the rest of the community can enjoy it.

 
What it Goes Well With

Depending on budget, try adding more metallophones to fill out the sound or a bonang (a type of small gong, played horizontally) or simply add some more ceng ceng - the low cost way to involve more players. Or you can add more gongs or metallophones, even mixing between Budget, Standard and Premium types as the tuning of all our 7 key Gamelan metallophones is to the same Balinese scale.

 

If you need to store the gamelan or move it around for workshops or perfomances, see the Gamelan Accessories section for a range of sturdy storage/carry bags.

 
How it's Made

Gamelan are educationally and musically important for many reasons: Ensemble playing teaches listening, concentration and teamwork as well as being great fun; The instruments are all easy to learn and to teach (and there are no "wrong " notes in the Balinese scale!) and the music is also very accessible as it's rhythmic and melodic and is made up from simple, repeated patterns; There are important links to explore with dance, story-telling, traditional culture, geography and religion.

 

Gamelan are visually as well as aurally exciting. The exotic sounds and scales open doors to new musical worlds and gamelan performances can be quite spectacular, especially if accompanying dance or puppet shows. The Teacher's Guide contains everything you need to know about basic playing techniques, setting up the room, cultural background and more. There are warm up exercises included as well as weekly lesson plans and the supporting audio and video clips will show you and the class the sort of results that can be achieved in a single term.

 

 
How to Look After It

Keep the instruments dry and away from extremes of temperature. The paintwork and metal surfaces can be wiped down with a damp cloth from time to time and there's no harm using a very small amount of detergent to remove greasy fingerprints. The metal used is steel and as it's not stainless you may get patches of rust appearing, particularly on the insides of the gongs. This is nothing to worry about and it can be removed by sanding with wire wool and then sprayed with WD40.

 
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