Year 7 were put through their paces this week when they learnt how to play traditional Indonesian music in a workshop at Cambridge University Music Faculty. The gamelan, as it is called, refers to the whole group of instruments, rather like our word ‘orchestra’. Gamelan comprises a range of different sized gongs, metallophones and drums; the latter are played with the hands whilst the gongs and metallophones are struck with mallets.
Much of the music is based on pentatonic scales and is learned orally rather than being notated. This meant our Year 7 students had to remember the patterns of notes they were taught and listen to everyone else in the group really carefully in order to stay in time.
Here are a few photos and clips of them in action: