The orchestras

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The orchestras

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The orchestras

The shadow plays of Indonesia, wayang kulit, the string puppetry of Myanmar, yoke thay thabin, masked dances of Thailand, khon, and Java, wayang topeng, are most famous theatres. Often being performed at religious or secular occasion, they are accompanied by grand percussion orchestras. The best known are the pin peat of Cambodia, the saing waiang of Myanmar, the kulingtan of Brunei and the Philippines, and the gamelan of Indonesia and Malaysia.

The pin peat orchestra in Cambodia includes around ten instruments: 3 xylophones, 2 circular gongs, 3 drums, a couple of cymbals, and 2 oboes. It representation can be seen on the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat.

The gamelan of Indonesia can include 40 instruments: two sided drums, kedang; xylophones with 6 copper bars, saron; xylophones with 14 copper bars, gender panerus; hanging gongs, gong; and sets of 10, 12 or 14 small gongs, bonang. This sacred orchestra existed under the Majapahit Empire, which reached its apogee in the 18th century.


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