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Created in 1912 by Kiyang Gelinduh, the gamelan jegog ensembles found
only in Jembrana, West Bali are made up of 14 instruments constructed from
massive bamboo ‘xylophone’ tubes (measuring three meters in length with 60+cm
diameters) that resonate mightily with low-pitched melodic reverberations which
may be felt as well as heard. This
indigenous and dramatic form of gamelan features players who must actually sit
atop the gigantic instruments in order to strike them effectively with padded
mallets. This type of sonorous gamelan
usually accompanies the region’s traditional leko-style dances and may still be
seen today in Sangkaragung Village as performed by Bali’s premiere jegog
gamelan orchestra, Jegog Suar Agung led by renowned director I Ketut Suwentra.
The resonant bass tones of the gamelan jegog can be heard a kilometer or more away in the (increasingly rare) quiet areas of Bali. Jegog music is very fast, loud, rhythmic and precise. Pieces last from a few minutes to as long as thirty minutes.