Bonang: instrument composition, sound, varieties, use

Bonang: instrument composition, sound, varieties, use

Indonesian musicians invented this percussion instrument as early as the second century AD. Today, it is played on all national holidays, traditional dances are performed to its accompaniment, and in China, the sounds of bonang accompany dragon boat competitions on the eve of Duanwu Day.


The instrument consists of gongs mounted on a beautiful stand. The length of the structure is about 2 meters. Gongs are made of bronze alloys and struck with wooden sticks wrapped in natural rope.

Bonang: instrument composition, sound, varieties, use


There are several varieties of bonang:

  • penerus (small);
  • barung (medium);
  • penembung (large).

In this diversity, male and female specimens are distinguished. They differ in the height of the sides and the volume of the bulge of the surface. The sound range of the Indonesian idiophone is 2-3 octaves depending on the setting. Sometimes clay balls are suspended from the gongs as resonators.


Belongs to the family of gongs, the class of idiophones. The pitch is indefinite, the timbre is powerful, gloomy. Bonang is not designed to reproduce the main notes of the melody, its melodious, slowly fading sounds serve as decoration for musical compositions, giving them a unique flavor. The inhabitants of Bali play the same instrument, but they call it differently – reong.

Keromong atau Bonang Gamelan Melayu

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