Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Gamelan Orchestra at the Sultan's

After our tour of portions of the Kraton, our palace tour guide led us to the Gamelan orchestra that was gathering and bid us farewell. With far more lighting than that at the Wayang puppet performance the previous night, it was far easier to see the instruments. Each musician was dressed in traditional local costume, complete with beautiful batik fabric. The men sported a sword as part of their outfit.

Huge gongs were arranged in a row behind the metallophones. Women and men looked very studious as they read the cipher system notation on a sheet of paper. 

The women all had huge "buns" of what looked like fake hair. They also sang. Note the lidded tea cup which was omnipresent in so many places I visited in Indonesia.
The wood carving on the instruments was quite ornate and bore the seal of the sultan.

Many musicians played different bonang instruments. These covered kettle-like instruments were an essential part of the gamelan orchestra. 

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