"Ayun Ambing" comes to us from the Sundanese people of West Java. Aside from the suling (flute) featured in the melody, a vast majority of gamelan instruments are percussive, providing the rhythmic and tonal framework for the piece. Gamelans are most often tuned to a five-tone scale (salendro, degung) or a seven-tone scale (pelog), but there are other, less common multitimbral variations. Usually, gamelans will also feature visual performers, such as puppeteers and dancers, who typically act as storytellers accompanied by the music. The result of this combination of audio/visual elements is a spectacle that can last for hours on end (it's not uncommon for spectators to fall asleep during these things). There's something to be said for someone who can overcome their physical limitations to pursue an art form that requires that kind of endurance.
Got any favorite musical performances?