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Music of Indonesia

Indonesia's music is as culturally diverse as its people. Best known abroad are the Javanese and Balinese orchestras generally called gamelans, which consist of gongs and other struck metal instruments. But gamelans are only one aspect of a much larger musical universe in Indonesia. Solo and group singing and solo instrumental music (typically played on the flute, shawm, plucked lute, bowed lute, plucked zither, or xylophone) are found everywhere, as are ensembles of mixed instruments, and ensembles dominated by instruments of a single type—especially flutes, drums, xylophones, zithers, or gongs. The music here is from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings' Music of Indonesia series, a 20-CD set compiled by Indonesian scholar Philip Yampolsky and released from 1991-2000.