HomeBlogs Kempyang & Kethuk The kempyang and ketuk are two instruments in the gamelan, generally
played by the same player, and sometimes played by the same player as
the kenong. They are important beat-keepers in the colotomic structure
of the gamelan. Depending on the structure, they play different,
repeating patterns every gongan. Not all structures use the kempyang,
but the kempyang is never played without the ketuk.
shaped like bonang, but are generally placed in their own frame
(rancak). The kempyang is pitched higher (about one octave, although it
depends if they are in the pelog or slendro set. Both have a central
boss like the bonang, but the kempyang has a rounder top (like the
higher bonangs), while the ketuk has a flat top (like the lower
In the common numerical notation, kempyang strokes are
marked by "-" while the ketuk is marked by "+". The ketuk pattern is
used to classify longer gendhing types, where it refers to the number of
ketuk strokes in a nongan.