gendér is a type of metallophone used in Balinese and Javanese gamelan music.
It consists of 10 to 14 tuned
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
some pitches are left out according to the pathet
. Most gamelans include three gendér, one for
, one for pelog pathet nem and lima,
and one for pelog pathet barang.
is similar to the Balinese gangsa
, which also has an individual resonator under
each key, and the saron
although trough-resonated, does have a set of tuned metal bars or
keys. It is also similar to the Javanese slenthem
, which is pitched lower and has fewer
In some types of gamelan, two gendérs are used, one (called the
) an octave higher than the other.
In Gamelan Surakarta
, the gendér
panerus plays a single line of melodic pattern, following a pattern
similar to the siter
. The gendér barung plays
a slower, but more complex melodic pattern that includes more
separate right and left hand melodic lines that come together in
kempyung (approximately a fifth) and gembyang (octave) intervals.
The melodies of the two hands sometimes move in parallel motion
, but often play contrapuntally
. When playing gendér barung with
two mallets, the technique of dampening
important to most gamelan instruments, becomes more challenging,
and the previously hit notes must be dampened by the same hand
immediately after the new ones are hit. This is sometimes possible
by playing with the mallet at an angle (to dampen one key and play
the other), but may require a small pause.
Both types of gendér play semi-improvised patterns called cengkok
, which generally elaborate upon the seleh
. These are relatively fixed patterns, but can be
varied in a number of ways to suit the style, pathet
, and mood of the
piece, as well as the skill of the performer. The cengkok
repertoire for gendér are more developed and specific than those
for most other elaborating
. Similarly, the gendér barung is likely to give
cues for changing parts or irama, especially in the absence of a
. It may also play the buka
of a piece.