HomeBlogs Gong Ageng The gong ageng is (Kromo Javanese meaning large gong, ngoko is gong
gedhe). It is the largest of the bronze gongs in the Javanese and
Balinese gamelan orchestra. Unlike the more famous Chinese or Turkish
gongs, Indonesian gongs have fixed, focused pitch, and are dissimilar to
the familiar crash cymbal sound. It is circular, with a conical,
tapering base of diameter smaller than gong face, with a protruding
polished boss where it is struck by a padded mallet. Gongs with diameter
as large as 135 centimeters (54 inches) have been created in the past,
but gongs larger than about 80 centimeters (32 inches) are more common
especially to suit the budget of educational institutions.
gong ageng is considered the most important instrument in a gamelan
ensemble: the soul or spirit of the gamelan is said to live in it.
ageng are often proffered ritual offerings of flowers, food and or and
incense before performances to appease spirits believed to inhabit it.
less expensive iron gong ageng or a slit-type gong are made to fulfill
the role of the bronze gong, though at the loss of sound quality- for
poorer regions and villages. The cost of expertly pure cast & beaten
bronze has seen a rise in bronze-plated and bronze-laminated iron gongs
for the undiscerning expatriate.