Gamelan degung

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Gamelan Degung
Indra Swara gamelan.jpg
A gamelan degung player
DevelopedIndonesia (West Java)
More articles or information
Gamelan emas.jpg
Gamelan musical instrument
DomainsTraditional craftsmanship, oral traditions and expressions, social practices, rituals and festive events
RegionAsia and the Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription2021 (16th session)
ListRepresentative List
Unesco Cultural Heritage logo.svg
Degung, Gambang, Gender Wayang, Gong gede, Gong kebyar, Jegog, Joged bumbung, Salendro, Selunding, Semar pegulingan, Surakarta

Gamelan degung is a form of Sundanese musical ensemble that uses a subset of modified gamelan instruments with a particular mode of degung scale. The instruments are manufactured under local conditions in towns in West Java such as Bogor and Bandung.[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 among communities in other countries interested in Indonesia and gamelan music.[3]

Gamelan degung also playable in madenda scale, which included in the set as a complementary tone, usually marked as -3/ni tone in the set. Playing gamelan degung in this scale requires the substitution of the 3/na metal bars into -3/ni tone on all instruments.

degung and madenda scale comparison
Degung 5 4 3 2 1
Madenda 5 4 -3 2 1
reading la ti na ni mi da


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. Usually there are two sarons in a single set.
  • panerus: another bronze metallophone, similar to the peking but pitched an octave lower.
  • Jengglong: six bulbous gongs suspended from the same frame. Could be layed like bonang, or hanged.
  • goong ageung: a large gong.
  • Pancer: a smaller gong, secondary gong.
  • A set of kendang, consisting of one large (kendang indung) and two small double-sided drums (kulantér).
  • Suling degung: a four-holed bamboo flute.
  • Suling kawih: a six-holed bamboo flute, interchangebly used with suling degung
  • Gambang: a wooden xylophone.
  • Kacapi: a zither.

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


See also[edit]


  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'", Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine, The Jakarta Post, 22 February 2004.