Javanese Gamelan

Javanese Gamelan

Bringing the sounds of the world to Berkeley

Background image: A Javanese Gamelan Performance

Javanese Gamelan Information

Midiyanto, Director

Course Number: Music 140

Beginning and Intermediate sections of Javanese Gamelan are offered every semester, every year.


The sections of Music 140 are open to enrolled students only.


Gamelan Class Description and History

Since their inception in 1976, the Department of Music’s Javanese gamelan classes have introduced thousands student to the musical traditions of Central Java and presented noon and evening concerts every semester in Hertz Hall. These classes are currently taught by Midiyanto, a Javanese musician and dhalang (shadow play performer). Other Javanese musicians who have taught at UC Berkeley include K.R.T. Wasitodipuro, Santosa, and Heri Purwanto. Past instructors have also included Jody Diamond, Daniel Schmidt, Joan Suyenaga, Marc Perlman, Andrew Weintraub, Lisa Gold, and Peter Garellick.

The ensemble plays on an exquisite set of instruments named Gamelan Kyahi Udan Mas, donated to the Department of Music by Sam and Louise Scripps, who also donated an equally beautiful set of shadow puppets which are used in Sari Raras’s shadow play performances.

Students in the beginning class learn to play many of the instruments in the gamelan. Intermediate and advanced students may learn the more difficult instruments.

Concert repertoire consists of traditional and contemporary gamelan compositions.

Sari Raras Description and History

Gamelan Sari Raras is a performing ensemble in the Department of Music at UC Berkeley. Founded in 1988 under the leadership of Midiyanto and Ben Brinner it includes students and former students at Berkeley as well as musicians from surrounding communities, including ethnomusicologists Lisa Gold, Richard Wallis and Henry Spiller who specialize in various types of Indonesian music, as well as others who have trained in Indonesia.

Sari Raras has performed throughout Northern California with many distinguished Javanese guest artists, including Tristuti Rahmadi, Hardja Susilo, B. Subono, Sumarsam, I.M. Harjito, Djoko Walujo, Ben Soeharto, Nyoman Wenten, Nanik Wenten, Eko Supriyanto, Didik Nini Thowok, Sigit Soegito, and Darsono. The primary repertoire consists of traditional Javanese gamelan music, but sometimes includes contemporary works, too. Javanese shadow play (wayang) and dance are often featured.

Audition Information

Prospective students are tested for ability to match pitch and rhythm in the first class meeting. This ensemble is open to students only; however, Gamelan Sari Raras (see below) accepts both students and community members with intermediate to advanced experience in Javanese gamelan performance. For further information, please contact Midiyanto (

Audition information for all performance opportunities in the Music Department.

A Javanese Gamelan Performance

Berkeley's Gamelan Ensembles

Learn the difference between our two Gamelan ensembles