Gamelan is the name of the traditional music ensemble found in Indonesia, primarily on the islands of Java and Bali. The Balinese gamelan is comprised of metallophones, hanging gongs, double-headed drums, and other melodic instruments, including bamboo flutes, a bowed instrument, and voice. The full ensemble requires 20-30 musicians.
Traditionally, the music of the gamelan is not notated, so musicians learn by ear through repetition. The ensemble is led by the rhythmic cues of the drummer, and does not have a conductor like a Western orchestra.
Gamelan Segara Madu
Gamelan Segara Madu, which translates to “Sea of Honey”, is the University of Hawai’i’s Balinese Gamelan Ensemble. In 1995, the former Governor of Bali, Ida Bagus Oka, presented a complete set of Balinese gamelan gong kebyar instruments to the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. In the years since, the ensemble has been directed by many distinguished artists from Bali. Since 2009, Gamelan Segara Madu has been led by resident artist I Madé Widana and Annie Reynolds.