Gamelan is music ensemble which usually showed metallophones, such as : xylophone (Gambang), drums (Gendang), and gongs (Gong). The term of gamelan refers to the instruments/tools which is a unified whole that is realized and sounded together. The word itself of gamelan comes from java language. Gamel is means hit/beat, and followed by an ending that makes a noun.
The emergence of gamelan preceded with Hindu-Buddhist culture that was dominated Indonesia in the early days of recording history, and this is called by Indonesian’s art originality. The instrument of gamelan was developed since from Majapahit’s kingdom until now. In Javanese mythology, gamelan was created by Sang Hyang Guru in ancient time which is called by Era Saka. Sang Hyang Guru is the gods who rule the whole of Java land, and old people believed that Sang Hyang Guru is the gods. Sang Hyang Guru occupy the palace in Mahendra’s mountain in Medangkamulan (now Lawu’s mountain). Firstly, Sang Hyang Guru was created one gongs to call the gods. For specific message, and then Sang Hyang Guru was created two gongsm, and finally formed the gamelan set.
Some instrumenets of gamelans like bamboo flute, bell, drums in various size, stringed musical instruments is swiped and harvested found in reliefs Borobudur’s temple, Magelang, Central Java, which has stood since the 8th century. However, the reliefs of all the instruments is said to be the origin of the gamelan.
Tuning and making the gamelan orchestra is a complex process. Gamelan using a four-way tuning, such as : Slendro, Pelog, Degung (especially Sundanese region, or West Java), and Madenda (also known as the diatonic, the same as the original minor scale that is widely used in Europe).
Gamelan music is a combination from foreign art influence which diverse. Not regard the tone from Chinese, music instruments from Southeast Asia, drum band and move to music from India, bowed string from Middle East, and military style from Europe which can be heard from traditional music of Java and Bali right now.