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Gambang from the Javanese Gamelan Kyai Rengga Manis Everist

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NMM 9883. Gambang in Laras Slendro. Twenty teakwood bars on long, hollowed, rectangular block of teakwood. Wings carved with two nagas (dragons) on either side, tails intertwining, lotus leaf decoration in the center. Teakwood decorated with flower and leaf pattern. Carvings covered in gold leaf. Length (wing to wing, not including wings): 133.5 cm. Two long, slender mallets (tabuh) made of buffalo horn with disc of wood covered with a ring-shaped pad of red cloth.


Function:  The gambang is an elaborating instrument. Its role is similar to that of the siter or gender panerus—filling in with ornate patterns based on the balungan (melody) and the irama (tempo structure). The gambang, celempung, and siter all play the same number of beats in relation to each measure of the balungan.

Playing technique:  the player sits on the floor in front of the instrument with the high octaves (shorter keys) to the right. One mallet is held in each hand and the bars are struck with the soft end.

Carved Wings

Bass wing on Bonang Panembung
Treble wing on Bonang Panembung

Bass Wing

Treble Wing

Carving and Gold-Leaf on Teakwood Base

Interior view of pot

Go to Checklist of Musical Instruments from Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

Go to The Manufacture and Ceremonial History of the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

Go to The Arrival of the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan in Vermillion, July 15, 2000

Go to The Naming Ceremony for the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan, April 26, 2003

Go to Glossary of Terms Relating to the Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan

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Most recent update:   April 3, 2014

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Left third of panel Center of panel Right third of panel carving on left side of base Carving at center of base Carving on right side of base