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Gamelan Ensemble

Undergraduates and graduates from all divisions at Emory are welcome to join the Gamelan Ensemble.

The Emory Gamelan Ensemble aims to disseminate the beauty and knowledge of gamelan performance arts, which include musical concerts, wayang (shadow puppet) shows, and traditional dances. We focus on karawitan, traditional repertoire of gamelan music from Central Java, Indonesia.

In 1997, Emory professor Steven Everett formed the first gamelan ensemble supported by students, faculty, and community members. The first gamelan was a mid-19th-century wayang set, and the first performance was a wayang (shadow puppet show) at the Carlos Museum of Emory in February 1997. In the following year, a new set of Javanese Court instruments were ordered and later being named Paksi Kencana (Sacred Eagle). Other high profile performances included playing at the High Museum of Art, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, an ecumenical service with the Dalai Lama, as well as at universities around Georgia.

A Sundanese gamelan was generously donated and primarily played from 2007 through 2013. A new set of Balinese Bela Ganjur gamelan was purchased in 2013. In recent years, the Javanese Court gamelan has served as our ensemble's primary gamelan with the Bela Ganjur set being featured in select performances.

From the very start, our Ensemble has been supported by generous donors and visiting Gamelan masters such as Ki Midiyanto (University of California, Berkeley) and Pak Made Lasmawan (University of Colorado, Boulder), Sumarsam (Wesleyan University). These masters have been instrumental to our success, development, and ability to procure world-class gamelan directly from master musical metalsmiths.

Our members continue to represent a varied cross-section of Emory students, faculty and community members. Senior members generously share the gamelan wisdom that they have accumulated over more than two decades.

For more information about our Ensemble, please contact the Gamelan Director, Darsono, at