The word gamelan in the Balinese context is thought to originate from the word ‘magambel’ which means “to hit”. A gamelan instrument is often percussive with keyed xylophones or pot gongs made of a variety of materials, gongs of various sizes, double-headed drums and cymbals.
However, not all Balinese gamelan instruments are percussive. There are also wind, bowed, plucked and strummed instruments.
There are fifteen gamelan orchestras at Mekar Bhuana: one antique seven-tone semara pagulingan set, one antique semara patangian (pelegongan) set, two sets of selonding (with different tunings), five antique gender wayang sets (all with different tunings), one antique baleganjur set, one pejogedan set, genggong, two antique angklung sets (with different tunings), gong suling, and one antique gong bheri.