Gamelan Samples

I had the same question; I assumed it was a typo.

I associate cultural appropriation with people who cut and paste the aesthetics of something without having a clue about the thing they’re jacking. E.g. the proverbial kid at the festival wearing a war bonnet.

The whole appropriation conversation gets kind of overwrought, IMO. (And I say that as a card carrying, far-left leaning sociologist who does fieldwork in Latin America and has had this conversation too many times to count—just to qualify that statement). Not to derail this poor OP’s request for some metallophone samples…


No worries my end for the derailment!

Thanks for all the replies to this. I was never planning to actually try to compose gamelan music, but more to use the samples as a base for transformation such as granular processing.

I’m sure that will be great fun! I’ve peered through the window of the Gamelan room at the Festival Hall on numerous occasions.

It’s all there in the question.

Tones and timbres don’t define a culture. Traditions do.

I wish more people used that distinction. Or any distinction. Taking the time to ask “should I be upset about this?” is rare in this context.

No, I think you’re one of the few who have it right.

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Spectrasonics Heart of Asia sample CD’s have a good set of gamelan samples.


Seemingly available at the Internet Archive, for those interested.

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These were recorded at a Schtung studio in Singapore. When it closed down around 2010, I bought the Kurzweil K2000 that was used on the sampling sessions for these.

The liner notes have some useful tuning information and they are here…


I have the Sonic Couture Gamelan 34GB library for Kontakt, which was first released in its native tuning, but soon after they released Kotankt alt tuning patch for orchestral use…

Playing the real thing is a really fantastic experience. The local University music school has a full gamelan set and often run workshops open to anyone. Playing the big bass gongs was heavenly…