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Traditional Balinese Gamelan dancer

Gamelan Group

An ancient musical art form from Bali.

The Community Gamelan Group is made of people from all ages and backgrounds, who meet on a Monday evening during term time at LSO St Luke’s.

No musical training is required to start playing Gamelan – you do not need to be able to read sheet music and pieces are performed in repeated sequences, so players only need to learn short phrases. There are no soloists within a group and everyone learns to play all the instruments, from the simplest gong to the more intricate rhythms. Basic instructions like when to start, stop, speed up, slow down etc are given by musical cues from the group leader.

The group was formed in 2003 for the opening of LSO St Luke’s, and is led by its director Andy Channing, Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

What is Gamelan?

A Gamelan is a percussion ensemble from Indonesia. Our beautiful instruments from Bali, with bronze keys and intricately carved frames, have their own room in LSO St Luke’s for workshops.

Gamelan is an ancient art form that predates recorded history. Ensembles traditionally perform outdoors at village temple ceremonies, weddings and funerals, or accompany performances of dance, drama and puppet theatre. The name gamelan can be traced back to a type of mallet used to strike instruments, or may refer to the act of striking with a mallet.

Take Part

For more information or if you are interested in joining the Community Group, please e-mail

Header image © Kevin Leighton