Class 3J Gamelan Music

Class 3J

Gamelan music will be taking up much of our time in Class 3J throughout the summer term. This is a very melodic type of music that originates from Indonesia. It is built up around cyclical musical patterns and can be quite haunting when all the different elements are added together.

Class 3J started off our introduction to Gamelan music by listening to a short piece, and then trying to understand what type of instruments we could hear. The pupils identified bells, gongs and a xylophone. We then thought about what techniques are used to create these sounds, and what the instruments might be made out of. We came to the conclusion that hitting various wooden or metallic instruments are the main elements that can be heard in Gamelan music.

We then introduced the pupils to the idea of a pentatonic scale. As the name suggests, this is a form of music that is made up of five notes. Using the school keyboards, Class 3J worked with a partner to recreate some of these patterns. This is in practice for a planned trip to the South Bank Centre later in the term. We are hopeful of taking part in a special workshop where we will be able to play authentic Indonesian instruments and create our own Gamelan piece of music.

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