Gamelan Nyai Saraswati

Gamelan Nyai Saraswati is an ensemble of the Department of Music, College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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Commons License These works are licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Group:  Gamelan Nyai Saraswati

Performance: 25 April 2007 "World Music Concert"  (other performances:  7 June 2001,  8 December 2001,  18 January 2002 "Gamelan Gala",  20 March 2003,  23 November 2003 ("New Music Concert") ,  7 April 2004 "Molak-Malik" ,  21 November 2004 "World Music Concert" ,  22 April 2005 "World Music Concert" ,  13 November 2005 ,  2 April 2006 "Reinventing Black Mountain" ,  19 November 2006 ,  26 April 2009 "An Evening of Javanese Music and Dance" ,  21 November 2010 "Music in the Galleries" )

Available audio files (how do I listen to these recordings?):

gendhing bonang okrakokrak slendro manyura


This is a traditional piece that features the bonang (the horizontally-racked pots) as the leading melodic instrument. The stately first section contrasts with the second, each repetition of which gradually increases density (to reach a double-time interlocking counter-melody in the demungs), speed, and volume (as loud and fast as the musicians can play!).

ladrang diradameta slendro nem


Ladrang DIRADAMETA is commonly used in wayang kulit (shadow puppet play) to accompany preparations for battle. The melodic gestures in portions of the piece mimic the stomping "angry elephants" of its title.

ladrang westminster slendro sanga


Ladrang WESTMINSTER, as performed in today's concert, is only one of several variants of this piece, and is said to be inspired by once-popular houshold objects in Central Java; the nature of these objects is left as an exercise to the listener!

ladrang wilujeng slendro manyura


Ladrang WILUJENG one of the first pieces most gamelan students learn, is commonly used to convey welcome and good wishes. As Gamelan Nyai Saraswati is celebrating its sixth full season this year, consider this a prayer for well-being for the ensemble, the performers, audience, and everyone who has supported us.

in that bright world


It has been said that performances of any Central Javanese gamelan work are negotiated around an "inner melody", which is expressed individually and tangentially in a manner characteristic to each instrument (garap), but whose true nature is only revealed in the heart of the performer and the listener. Jody Diamond brings this notion to a western audience with In That Bright World. Though this piece employs several traditional Javanese forms, it also introduces elements that are not native to Javanese gamelan, including kotekan, a complex interlocking melodic pattern borrowed from Balinese gamelan. Perhaps even listeners brought up in this country will also discover in this piece a familiar inner melody that is closer to home.

Director: Daniel Guberman (email:
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