an amazing culture of music and music making. The diversity is manifest
in its home industry-mode of instrument production, in which each maker
creates a product slightly different in make and tuning than his neighbor.
In addition to the familiar bronze instruments, there are iron, bamboo,
wood, and brass gamelans as well. Craftsmen also produce non-traditional
instruments such as whistles, kalimbas, shakers, rain-sticks, digeridoos,
and djembe drums.
Most of this catalogue features gamelan instruments, sold individually
for home use, or to fill out an ensemble. We offer two qualities: the
so-called "iron" and bronze. "Iron" gongs and metalaphones
are made of recycled, low-grade steel, welded and riveted together. They can
have beautiful resonance. Bronze instruments are poured and pounded into shape,
tuned by filing and hammering. Bronze metal takes years to "settle" and
needs tuning once or twice in the first ten years or so.
Drums and wood stands for the gamelan instruments are likewise stratified:
teak for the stands and jackfruit drums are prefered. Other woods
are second best. Makers
prefer the former for tone and resonance.
As natural resources
in Indonesia have waned, prices have risen. This not only includes
wood, but the price of copper and tin that constitute bronze. Most copper is
gathered from recycled wire. New teak wood, far from clear, is usually bi-colored
and knotty, gathered from younger trees. But the economy of gamelan production
is oriented toward export sales. It is the
world market, not the local one, that influences the sale price of
gamelan instruments. This accounts for the price disparity between "iron" and
Please peruse these pages and contact us with any questions.