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Jonathan Chang wrote, re gamelan:
>    Nope. There is two "systems": _pelog_ & _slendro_. Slendro scales tend
to
>be "almost 5-tone Equal" while Pelog scales are very unequal 7-tone sets in
>which _patet_ of 5-tones are played. (Unequal scales create a certain sonic
>spice-y-ness, which I like a lot)
>    The uniqueness of each _gamelan_ is due to the fact that each gamelan
is
>created & tuned individually - thus subtle-but-discernable differences
>between gamelan ensembles create different tunings of either Slendro or
Pelog
>as well as different timbral colourations.>

Right on all counts.   In the provinces, smaller gamelans tend to be Slendro
only.  In the old courts, or when subsidized by the local rich man, they
will have both systems, which are never mixed.  Slendro instruments usually
face the audience, Pelog are set at 90 degrees.  Slendro and Pelog always
have one tone in common-- when you switch from one to the other, you bang on
the common tone for a while, then turn and start playing on the other set.
A very dramatic change in tonality.

In the 70s, when I was just getting Indonesianized, there were like 3
gamelans in the entire US-- UCal, UMich, and Wesleyan (CT).  My major prof's
wife, Judith Becker, was and still is the director of the UM gamelan.   A
beautiful matched set of instruments in both tunings, and a very
professional group.