Explore the world of gamelan



1. (Balinese)

In Bali, metallophone with suspended keys, each key having a bamboo tube resonator. It comprises 4 to 7 keys. It is played with a single hammer or mallet. Its relative pitch range lies below that of the peñacah and above that of the jègogan.

Synonym of jublag.

See also :

© 1978, Evelyne Noviant

2. (Javanese, Sundanese)

In Java, bamboo tube xylophone, and having no resonator. It can have from 2 to 19 tubes connected by two cords. Refers also to a gamelan made up mainly of this instrument.

  • The calung rénténg is a form of the instrument common in the Sundanese country. The cords are simply taut between the player and an object, the tubes form thus a series (rénténg) of tubes.
  • The calung ténténg comprises only a few tubes hanged at one end. It is struck with a single stick.

© 1996, A. Gumilar


Around the 11th Century, the name of calung, for a bamboo tube xylophone, appears in Javano-Balinese literature.

The word calung exists in Malaysian, Indonesian, Sundanese, Javanese, Balinese. In Javanese, it also refers to the part between foot and knee of the horse's leg. In Malaysian and Balinese, it refers to a recipient made from a coconut shell.

The relation with musical instruments seems hard to establish. Are they different words or were there a relation between the instruments and the coconut shell ?

We can also wonder whether the name of the Balinese instrument was inspired by a bamboo instrument that existed in Bali, similar to the calung of Java today. It would account for the presence of a same name for two different instruments.

Etymology of jublag
The etymology of jublag is no less obscure : is there a relation with the Javanese word dublag which means to give food or with jubleg refering to a rice mortar ? The rice mortar is, no doubt, used as musical instrument in Java and in Bali, but that is only a hint of a lead.

Other romanizations

Chalung, tjalung, tjaloeng.

Djublag, djoeblag.

 About the site…