Gender

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Title

Gender

Video


Alternative title

Gendèr

Physical description

Gender is a metallophone type instrument with bronze keys suspended by cords in a wooden frame, over individual tube resonators for each of its keys.

Musical, Cultural, and Social Contexts

Gender is one of the leading instruments in the ensemble, especially in soft style of playing gendhing. Played with two mallets in a contrapunctal style, the gender creates to the fullness or sonority of the ensemble. Within the limitation of its melodic range, gender plays melodies in fragmented way: the melodies are presented in a series of melodic patterns commonly called cengkok. The cengkok are closely associated with musical unit of four notes of balungan (gatra).

Historical background

Historical evidence suggests that metallophone with keys suspended with cord had existed at around the 10th century (Kunst), perhaps under the name of salunding (Kunst); it had an important role for accompanying wayang. Until today gender is still the most important instrument in accompanying wayang performance.

Playing technique

The gender is played with two padded disc type mallets. The gender playing technique requires damping the keys. This is done by dampening the key slightly after or at the same time while playing the next key.

Geography

Java, Indonesia

Classification

111.212 (idiophone) Sets of percussion sticks: several percussion sticks of different pitch are combined to form a single instrument

Ensemble

Javanese Gamelan

Contributors

Sumarsam (2004)

Collection

Citation

“Gender,” Wesleyan University Virtual Instrument Museum 2.0, accessed April 13, 2024, https://wesomeka.wesleyan.edu/vim2/items/show/5.