As a VSO in Indonesia in the 1970s, I found that a state-sponsored ‘new opera’ had been created using puppets and the music of the gamelan .
In Legong Keraton, as in much Balinese dance, the movement is closely associated with the intricate rhythms produced by the gamelan ensemble.
The gamelan instruments were placed on supports high enough for Western musicians to play without having to sit cross-legged.
The University of Pittsburgh Music Department offers classes in gamelan and African music and dance as part of its program in Ethnomusicology.
Instead of being accompanied by a traditional gamelan orchestra, the dance was accompanied by the Erwin Gutawa Orchestra along with a choir.
Debussy was among those who heard them, and began a tradition of transforming the gamelan into concert music.
He went to the 14 th-century Panataran Temple in Blitar, East Java but found little that could tell him more about gamelan , a musical instrument claimed to be indigenous to the Javanese.
Singers, both solo and in chorus, are frequently an important part of the gamelan and the ensemble is controlled by the kendang player, who signals changes of speed, mood, and music.
It is performed by a simplified gamelan orchestra blending soft-sounding percussion instruments with the melancholy sounds of a flute.
The show is usually accompanied by a small gamelan (musical ensemble).