gam·​elan | \ ˈga-mə-ˌlan How to pronounce gamelan (audio) , -ˌlän \

Definition of gamelan

: an Indonesian orchestra made up especially of percussion instruments (such as gongs, xylophones, and drums)

Examples of gamelan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The dancers were accompanied by a 40-piece gamelan orchestra in which players used mallets to produce rapid, rhythmic and hypnotic music on banks of percussion instruments. Seth Mydans, New York Times, 13 Mar. 2020 Games of the youths are accompanied by dancing, percussive tinklings inspired by Balinese gamelan music. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 15 Apr. 2020 The things often summoned up her Java stories of gamelans, sate-sellers, cicadas and warm rain. The Economist, 5 Sep. 2019 Now Ithaca’s annual Porchfest has grown into a six-hour extravaganza featuring 180 acts as varied as string bands, opera singers, hip-hop groups, and Indonesian gamelan ensembles. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, 2 Apr. 2019 The gamelan musicians also lined the back of the stage at the Broad Stage. Mark Swed,, 20 Feb. 2018 Somewhere down a hallway behind him, there were four separate gamelans awaiting their fate. David Murphy,, 12 Apr. 2018 The piece reflects when Debussy first heard a Javanese gamelan at the Paris Exposition of 1889. Special To The Oregonian,, 10 Mar. 2018 Yes, Debussy had heard Javanese gamelan music at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in the summer of 1889 and had written with great admiration about its complexity and sophistication. Stephen Hough, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gamelan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gamelan

1816, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gamelan

borrowed from Javanese, going back to Old Javanese gamĕlan "percussion instrument, ensemble of percussion instruments," from gamĕl- "playing of a percussion instrument" + -an, noun-forming suffix

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The first known use of gamelan was in 1816

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Cite this Entry

“Gamelan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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