Udan Mas

Last updated

Udan Mas (sometimes written Hudan Mas, the name means "Golden Rain") is a composition for gamelan which is popular in Central Java, especially Yogyakarta. It is a bubaran, which is an ending piece played while the audience departs. In Western concert performances, it is often played as an encore. It is often one of the pieces students learn early in their studies.

Gamelan Indonesian traditional ensemble

Gamelan is the traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments used are metallophones played by mallets and a set of hand-played drums called kendhang which register the beat. Other instruments include xylophones, bamboo flutes, a bowed instrument called a rebab, and even vocalists called sindhen.

Yogyakarta City in Java, Indonesia

Yogyakarta is a city on the island of Java in Indonesia. As the only Indonesian royal city still ruled by a monarchy, Yogyakarta is regarded as an important centre for classical Javanese fine arts and culture such as ballet, batik textiles, drama, literature, music, poetry, silversmithing, visual arts, and wayang puppetry. Renowned as a centre of Indonesian education, Yogyakarta is home to a large student population and dozens of schools and universities, including Gadjah Mada University, the country's largest institute of higher education and one of its most prestigious.

The piece can be played in a wide variety of pathet, including pélog pathet barang and nem, and sléndro pathet sanga and nem. It can also be played as either a lancaran or a ladrang, with related balungan.

Pathet is an organizing concept in Central Javanese gamelan music. It is a system of tonal hierarchies in which some notes are emphasized more than others. The word means '"to damp, or to restrain from" in Javanese. Pathet is "a limitation on the player's choice of variation, so that while in one pathet a certain note may be prominent, in another it must be avoided, or used only for special effect. Awareness of such limitations, and exploration of variation within them reflects a basic philosophical aim of gamelan music, and indeed all art in central Java, namely, the restraint and refinement of one's own behaviour." Javanese often give poetic explanations of pathet, such as "Pathet is the couch or bed of a melody." In essence, a pathet indicates which notes are stressed in the melody, especially at the end of phrases (seleh), as well as determines which elaborations are appropriate. In many cases, however, pieces are seen as in a mixture of pathets, and the reality is often more complicated than the generalizations indicated here, and depend on the particular composition and style.


The balungan is sometimes called the "core melody" or, "skeletal melodic outline," of a Javanese gamelan composition. This corresponds to the view that gamelan music is heterophonic: the balungan is then the melody which is being elaborated. "An abstraction of the inner melody felt by musicians," the balungan is, "the part most frequently notated by Javanese musicians, and the only one likely to be used in performance."

The recording of the piece on Javanese Court Gamelan , possibly the most famous, is in pélog pathet barang and has a lancaran structure.

<i>Javanese Court Gamelan</i> 1971 studio album by Pura Paku Alaman gamelan

Note: the first cover is of the first CD issue of the album, released during the 1990s.

Mantle Hood offers an analysis of the ladrang in The Nuclear Theme as a Determinant of Patet in Javanese Music. He adduces it in his theory of the importance of cadence contours in its variation in different pathet.

Mantle Hood was an American ethnomusicologist. Among other areas, he specialized in studying gamelan music from Indonesia. Hood pioneered, in the 1950s and 1960s, a new approach to the study of music, and the creation of the first American university program devoted to ethnomusicology, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was known for a suggestion, somewhat novel at the time, that his students actually learn to play the music they were studying.

Hujan Mas, which also means "Golden Rain" in modern Indonesian is a well known 20th century composition for Balinese Gamelan in the kebyar style.

Indonesian language language spoken in Indonesia

Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. It is a standardized register of Malay, an Austronesian language that has been used as a lingua franca in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries. Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world. Of its large population, the majority speak Indonesian, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

Related Research Articles

Pelog is one of the two essential scales of gamelan music native to Bali and Java, in Indonesia. In Javanese the term is said to be a variant of the word pelag meaning "fine" or "beautiful". The other, older, scale commonly used is called slendro. Pelog has seven notes, but many gamelan ensembles only have keys for five of the pitches. Even in ensembles that have all seven notes, many pieces only use a subset of five notes.

Slendro pentatonic scale used in Indonesian gamelan music

Slendro is a pentatonic scale, Play  the older of the two most common scales (laras) used in Indonesian gamelan music, the other being pélog. In Javanese the term is said to derive either from "Sailendra", the name of the ruling family in the eighth and ninth centuries when Borobudur was built, or from its earlier being given by the god Sang Hyang Hendra.

Gendèr musical instrument

A gendèr is a type of metallophone used in Balinese and Javanese gamelan music. It consists of 10 to 14 tuned metal bars suspended over a tuned resonator of bamboo or metal, which are tapped with a mallet made of wooden disks (Bali) or a padded wooden disk (Java). Each key is a note of a different pitch, often extending a little more than two octaves. There are five notes per octave, so in the seven-note pélog scale, some pitches are left out according to the pathet. Most gamelans include three gendèr, one for sléndro, one for pelog pathet nem and lima, and one for pelog pathet barang.


A component of the Javanese gamelan, the kempul is a set of pitched, hanging, knobbed gongs, often made of bronze, wood, and cords. Ranging from seven to ten inches in diameter, the kempul gong has a flat surface with a protruding knob at the center and is played by hitting the knob with the "soft end of a mallet." "The wooden mallet used has a ball shape head with heavy padding on a short wooden handle. The number of kempul gongs present in a gamelan ensemble varies but, "although there can be two to ten kempul on one separate rack, it is common to have five kempul hanging on the same rack as the Gong ageng and gong siyem".


The slenthem is a Javanese metallophone which makes up part of a gamelan orchestra.

Gambang xylophone-like instrument

A gambang, properly called a gambang kayu is a xylophone-like instrument used among peoples of Indonesia and the southern Philippines in gamelan and kulintang, with wooden bars as opposed to the metallic ones of the more typical metallophones in a gamelan. A largely obsolete instrument, the gambang gangsa, is a similar instrument made with metal bars.

Saron (instrument) musical instrument of Indonesia used in the gamelan

The saron is a musical instrument of Indonesia, which is used in the gamelan. It normally has seven bronze bars placed on top of a resonating frame (rancak). It is usually about 20 cm (8 in) high, and is played on the floor by a seated performer. In a pelog scale, the bars often read 1-2-3-5-6-7 across ; for slendro, the bars are 6-1-2-3-5-6-1; this can vary from gamelan to gamelan, or even among instruments in the same gamelan. Slendro instruments commonly have only six keys. It provides the core melody (balungan) in the gamelan orchestra.

Gong ageng

The gong ageng is a musical instrument. It is the largest of the bronze gongs in the Javanese and Balinese gamelan orchestra and the only large gong that is called gong in Javanese. Unlike the more famous Chinese or Turkish tam-tams, 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 have been created in the past, but gongs larger than about 80 centimeters are more common especially to suit the budget of educational institutions.


Colotomy is a description of the rhythmic and metric patterns of gamelan music. It refers to the use of specific instruments to mark off nested time intervals, or the process of dividing rhythmic time into such nested cycles. In the gamelan, this is usually done by gongs of various size: the kempyang, ketuk, kempul, kenong, gong suwukan, and gong ageng. The fast-playing instruments, kempyang and ketuk, keep a regular beat. The larger gongs group together these hits into larger groupings, playing once per each grouping. The largest gong, the gong ageng, represents the largest time cycle and generally indicates that that section will be repeated, or the piece will move on to a new section.

Notation plays a relatively minor role in the oral traditions of Indonesian gamelan but, in Java and Bali, several systems of gamelan notation were devised beginning at the end of the 19th century, initially for archival purposes.


The panerusan instruments or elaborating instruments are one of the divisions of instruments used in the gamelan. Instead of the rhythmic structure provided by the colotomic instruments, and the core melody of the balungan instruments, the panerusan instruments play variations on the balungan. They are usually the most difficult instruments to learn in the gamelan, but provide the most opportunity for improvisation and creativity in the performer.

Puspawarna is a gamelan composition famous in Central Java. It is a ketawang in slendro pathet manyura. Thus the full title of the piece is Ketawang Puspawarna Laras Slendro Pathet Manyura. As manyura is the final pathet in a wayang performance, the mood it evokes is of ripeness or fulfillment.

The buka is the short introduction to pieces of gamelan. It is also called the bubuka or bubuka opaq-opaq.

K. P. H. Notoprojo Indonesian musician

K. P. H. Notoprojo, also known as Tjokrowasito, Wasitodipuro, Wasitodiningrat, among other names, was one of the most highly respected performers of Javanese gamelan. He led the Paku Alaman palace gamelan as well as the gamelan for the Radio Republik Indonesia Yogyakarta, and taught gamelan in universities around the world. He was also a noted composer and rebab performer.

A gatra is a unit of melody in Javanese gamelan music, analogous to a measure in Western music. It is often considered the smallest unit of a gamelan composition.


Robert E. Brown American ethnomusicologist

Robert Edward "Bob" Brown was an American ethnomusicologist who is credited with coining the term "world music". He was also well known for his recordings of music from Indonesia. Many of these recordings, among the first widely distributed and commercially available in the United States, inspired a generation of musicians to study and perform Indonesian gamelan music.