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Puspawarna (Javanese for "kinds of flowers") is a gamelan composition famous in Central Java. It is a ketawang in slendro pathet manyura. Thus the full title of the piece is Ketawang Puspawarna Laras Slendro Pathet Manyura. As manyura is the final pathet in a wayang performance, the mood it evokes is of ripeness or fulfillment.

The piece is performed for the entrance of the prince. The text refers to different kinds of flowers, each symbolizing a different rasa. The text and melody are attributed to Prince Mangkunegara IV of Surakarta (reigned 1853-1881), to commemorate his favorite wives and concubines.

A recording of Puspawarna by the court gamelan of Paku Alaman, Yogyakarta, directed by K.R.T. Wasitodipuro (now K.P.H. Natoprojo), recorded by Robert E. Brown, was included on the Voyager Golden Record, which was sent on the Voyager 1 spacecraft as a greeting to whatever extraterrestrials may find it. The recording is also available on the album Java: Court Gamelan (originally released in 1971). According to the note by Brown in the reissued version of that CD, "Puspawarna" was one of Carl Sagan's favorites on the record.


  • Brown, Robert E. Notes to Java: Court Gamelan. Reissued edition. New York: Nonesuch 79719-2, 2003.

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