gamelan

noun
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 things often summoned up her Java stories of gamelans, sate-sellers, cicadas and warm rain. The Economist, "Obituary: Jan Ruff O’Herne died on August 19th," 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, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019 The gamelan musicians also lined the back of the stage at the Broad Stage. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "The musical view from Mexico and Bali (by way of Northridge and Santa Monica)," 20 Feb. 2018 Somewhere down a hallway behind him, there were four separate gamelans awaiting their fate. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Look out, NBA. The Sixers are storming into the postseason | 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, OregonLive.com, "March Music Moderne festival pays tribute to Claude Debussy," 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, "100 Years After Debussy’s Death, He Remains the First ‘Modern’ Composer," 2 Mar. 2018 Debussy may have discovered his own pianistic voice after hearing the gamelan, but by the end of the 20th century the inspiration had reversed direction and his impact on Asian piano music is incalculable. Stephen Hough, New York Times, "100 Years After Debussy’s Death, He Remains the First ‘Modern’ Composer," 2 Mar. 2018 Separated by 10,000 miles and many centuries, gamelan and mariachi are much more distant historically, geographically and culturally than, say gangsta rap and Gregorian chant. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "The musical view from Mexico and Bali (by way of Northridge and Santa Monica)," 20 Feb. 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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Statistics for gamelan

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for gamelan

The first known use of gamelan was in 1816

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gamelan

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gamelan

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