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Gamelan Sekar Petak - University of York


A gamelan is a collection of bronze gongs and metallophones (sometimes joined by string and wind instruments). Gamelan music originated in Indonesia and is now popular across the globe, with traditional and new music being played and enjoyed by groups of all ages and all levels of experience. 

Gamelan Sekar Petak (White Flower Gamelan) is the set of instruments handmade especially for the University of York by master craftsmen in Java, Indonesia in 1981. The instruments are used regularly by a student ensemble, two thriving community groups and in projects for children and young people (including Sound of Bronze – a programme of work supported by Youth Music).

Sound of Bronze draws on the inherent benefits of Javanese gamelan (communal in nature and soothing in sound, with challenges available for all levels of ability) and the specialist knowledge of York-based gamelan musicians, to provide musical and personal development opportunities for young people, while also improving the practice of professionals. The project seeks to engage young people who face barriers (particularly with special educational and behavioural needs, financial disadvantage and rural isolation) and serves as an opportunity to explore cultural diversity. The two-year programme takes a multi-layered approach to reaching target participants and supporting individual progression, including:

  • Short-course projects in York, including in partnership with York Music Centre;
  • Residencies in coastal East Riding;
  • A regular youth gamelan ensemble held at University of York, with tailored access support options;
  • Opportunities for young people to perform as part of the York Concerts Series and York Music Hub events, alongside the University of York gamelan ensemble;
  • A programme of professional development, involving traineeships for emerging practitioners, training focused on general music leadership, and gamelan specific training as part of the Northern Gamelan Network.

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