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Gamelan degung

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Title: Gamelan degung  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Gamelan, Kacapi, Pelog, Beleganjur, Music of Indonesia
Collection: Gamelan Ensembles and Genres, Sundanese Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gamelan degung

Music of Indonesia
Kempul gongs from Java
Specific forms
Regional music

Gamelan Degung is a Sundanese musical ensemble that uses a subset of modified gamelan instruments with a particular mode of pelog scale. The instruments are manufactured under local conditions in towns in West Java such as Bogor.[1] Degung music is often played at public gatherings in West Java, such as at local elections, as well as many other events.[2] There is international interest in degung as well amongst communities in other countries interested in Indonesia and gamelan music.[3]


Closeup of a gong from gamelan degung

The instrumentation of gamelan degung is quite flexible. It may include:

  • Bonang/kolènang: two rows of seven small bulbous gongs. It differs from its Javanese counterpart in that the rows are each placed on either side of the player.
  • Saron/peking: a high-pitched bronze metallophone with fourteen keys.
  • Panerus: another bronze metallophone, similar to the peking but pitched an octave lower.
  • Jengglong: six bulbous gongs suspended from the same frame.
  • Goong ageung: a large gong.
  • A set of kendang, consisting of one large and two small double-sided drums.
  • Suling degung: a four-holed bamboo flute.
  • Gambang: a wooden xylophone.
Sundanese Gamelan Degung.
Sundanese students playing gamelan degung on the street.

In classical degung, the bonang serves as a conductor for the whole ensemble. Except in certain modern compositions, it is rarely absent.


  1. ^ Retno K. Djojo, 'For the love of music', The Jakarta Post, 29 January 2010.
  2. ^ Theresia Sufa, 'Sundanese music and dance liven election day in Bogor', The Jakarta Post, 26 October 2008.
  3. ^ Dewi Anggraeni, 'Melbourne: Gamelan, elephants and 'Jackpot', The Jakarta Post, 22 February 2004.
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