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An Indonesian orchestra composed mainly of tuned percussion instruments such as bamboo xylophones, wooden or metal chimes, and gongs.

[Javanese, from Old Javanese gamĕlan, percussion instrument, ensemble of percussion instruments, from gamĕl, to play a percussion instrument.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Music, other) a type of percussion orchestra common in the East Indies
[from Javanese]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈgæm əˌlæn, -lən)

an Indonesian orchestra consisting of bowed stringed instruments, flutes, and a great variety of percussion instruments.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gamelan - a traditional Indonesian ensemble typically including many tuned percussion instruments including bamboo xylophones and wooden or bronze chimes and gongs
ensemble - a group of musicians playing or singing together; "a string ensemble"
Dutch East Indies, Indonesia, Republic of Indonesia - a republic in southeastern Asia on an archipelago including more than 13,000 islands; achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1945; the principal oil producer in the Far East and Pacific regions
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Willow Globe Company will perform Pericles from May 17 to 19, and there will be a family therapy talk using Shakespeare on June 8, and up to 20 Sundanese Gamalan perfomers from London and Indonesia will run a workshop and performance on June 22.
The way Georgians sing - at dances, weddings, religious ceremonies, feasts, or going to war - is so strange it was recorded and sent into deep space in 1977 aboard NASA's Voyager alongside Peruvian pan pipes, Bach, gamalan music and Navajo chants.
Enthralled with the sound of a gamalan orchestra, the Canadian composer worked a trancelike mood through "a repetitiveness that we associate with minimalist music, but a repetitiveness due to the nature of percussion instruments.