Gamelan is the traditional ensemble music of the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese peoples of Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. Gamelan is played to accompany religious rituals, ceremonies, dance, dance-drama, traditional theater, wayang puppet theatre, singing, concerts, festivals, exhibitions, and much more. Many consider Gamelan to be an integral part of Indonesian culture. It is considered sacred and is believed to have supernatural powers.
Gamelan "gender wayang" is a Balinese variant of Gamelan.This is music to accompany performances of wayang kulit (shadow puppet theatre) and is probably the most technically demanding music to be found on Bali. A quartet of performers, led by the late I Wayan Loceng, play bronze metallophones on the "Gender Wayang" recording listed below.
I think of Gamelan as a magical soundtrack to Indonesia's villages and kampungs. And when I hear Gamelan performed, I think of several of my best friends who are no longer with us today, but who shared their love of Indonesia, and who lived to a beat and a rhythm that was all their very own.