Indonesian Gamelan



The Gamelan is the Indonesian equivalent of our orchestra and is mainly composed by percussions. Its particular sound has inspired several modern and contemporary composers who have tried to reproduce it on Western instruments. The first ones to be fascinated by the Gamelan were Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel who heard something similar to it during Paris world expos. The Polish-American pianist Leopold Godowsky visited Indonesia during his concert tours and tried to reproduce the traditional sounds he heard there. Bela Bartok and Gyorgy Ligeti took certain Gamelan stylistic elements and integrated them in some of their own original compositions. Evan Zyporin and Ross Edwards are respectively an American and an Australian composer who seriously studied Gamelan music and who constructed their own works around several typical elements like scales and rhythms.


Claude Debussy - Pagodes

Maurice Ravel - La Vallée des Cloches

Leopold Godowsky - Gamelan, A court pageant in solo, In the Kraton

Bela Bartok - From Island of Bali

Gyorgy Ligeti - Etude no.7 Galamb Borong (1988-1994)

Evan Zyporin - In bounds (2004)

Ross Edwards - Piano Sonata (2011)