Slowly catching up on the backlog. 1-dec-1997
Updated a few links, added reviews and samples of two Javanese CDs 8-may-1997

Reviews of Javanese music on CD and tape

This is a list of some of the Javanese CDs and tapes on the market, with track information and short reviews, concentrating on classical Javanese and Sundanese music. Most of the CDs can be found at the All Music Guide (CDnow, CDworld), but without the reviews yet (which should appear RSN). Others (notably the Keraton series) I bought in Indonesia. Another good source is the American Gamelan Institute, especially for some of the tapes and modern Javanese gamelan music, or the Indonesian Music Shop, and I just found another source: Multicultural Media. A mail order firm in the Netherlands that also carries most Indonesian CDs is Hatopa Music, tel/fax +31-30-6032966. If anyone has information about records or tapes (s)he would like to contribute feel free to send mail to me and I'll put them on this page.

The music samples have been chosen to reflect one aspect of the CD; as this involves choosing 20-odd seconds off a one-hour compilation it can in no way reflect the full scope of the music. The quality has been severely degraded for the web, but I still recommend to play them over decent speakers - my built-in speaker completely loses the gongs. I hope they gives a taste of the music. (more notes)

I personally like very much these Solo, Yogya and Mangkunagaran gamelan recordings, and the Sunda Kecapi Suling (flute) and Tembang (songs) CDs

The transcription of Javanese words is given as on the CD, as many have passed through Japanese the conventions differ wildly.

Javanese Classical Music


Sundanese Music


Some Kroncong


Other Javanese Music links

Another set of reviews with cultural background has been collected by T.M. McComb. The Javanese Gamelan pages of Bali & Beyond have lots of info on the instruments and tuning of the Javanese gamelan, Mike Wardi also gives lots of dancing info. The Rough Guide has a discography of popular indonesian music. And of course there are the Indonesian home pages, in Canada and in Jakarta.

Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, 8-may-1997