During your stay in Bali, you will be sure to hear some of the traditional Balinese gamelan music, and if you watch a Balinese dance performance, this will always be accompanied by a gamelan orchestra or some of its instruments.
A complete gamelan orchestra is made up of several types of instruments. Among them are always two percussion instruments, providing the rhythm, together with various xylophones, called gangsas. There are a large number of them, but the musician playing the biggest one, and standing at the centre, conducts the ensemble. At his signal, all of the other instruments start producing a staccato sound that sounds like it is coming from one single instrument. Some of the Balinese gamelan orchestras are so renowned that they may have to travel a long way to perform at special occasions. The musicians always travel together and sometimes you will see them, dressed up in colourful shiny satin clothing, and piled up with their instruments in the back of a large truck.