About Gamelan

LISTEN  –  Udan Mas

Gamelan music is among the most well known of the hundreds of traditional performing art forms found among the cultures that make up the Republic of Indonesia. The term gamelan refers to the entire set of instruments as well as to the music played on them or the group who plays them. The most popular form of gamelan in Central Java today is that associated with the refined cultural traditions of the royal courts. Gamelan is important in both formal ceremonies and popular entertainment and performances of gamelan are an integral part of many auspicious occasions.

Some of the instruments included in a gamelan ensemble:

Performances by MCG can be viewed on our YouTube channel.

Upcoming events and MCG news

Upcoming Gig – Wayang Kulit

Thursday 1 August 2024
Gasworks Art Park, Albert Park.
The Melbourne Community Gamelan will be accompanying dhalang (puppeteer) Dr. Helen Pausacker for a trio of shows. There will be two hour-long daytime performances of the story “Bima Bungkus” at 1030 and 1300, and one 90-minute performance of the story “Sumantri Ngenger” at 2000.
We welcome everybody to book tickets for any or all shows, however, we particularly encourage schools to plan excursions for the two daytime shows. More information regarding the stories and booking details can be accessed on the Gasworks website here. For large group bookings, please contact Gasworks directly.

Upcoming Gig – Indonesian Street Performing Arts and Reog Ponorogo

Saturday 29 June 1100-1600. Free event at Federation Square.

Melbourne Community Gamelan will perform a short set in addition to accompanying parts of the reog procession at the beginning and end of the event.


Gathering of the Gamelans Recordings

Thank you to all who came to support us and the other Indonesian music groups at the Gathering of the Gamelans. In case you missed us, you can catch up on our sets here.

We have now concluded rehearsals for 2023 and are looking forward to a well deserved break. From all of us at MCG, we would like to wish everybody Selamat Hari Natal dan Tahun Baru. See you in the new year!

August 2023

Congratulations to our president, Irene Ritchie, for receiving the KONJEN RI Melbourne Award 2023.

This award is conferred upon individuals or organisations for their dedication, commitment, contribution and efforts in improving the image of Indonesia in Victoria and Tasmania, through various social, cultural and economic means.

Irene Ritchie received this award for her dedication in promoting Indonesian Culture in Victoria through Melbourne Community Gamelan. 

Below are pictures of Irene with Consul General Kuncoro Waseso and other recipients at the Melbourne Indonesian Consulate, 17 August 2023.

May 2023

Congratulations to MCG members Rachel Madin and Hannah Comrie-Weston on securing placements on the prestigious Darmasiswa scholarship. We hope you have a blast studying arts & culture at ISI Padang Panjang and ISI Surakarta, respectively, and look forward to having you back in 2024.

Picture of Rachel (left) and Hannah (right) gearing up for orientation in Jakarta, August 2023.

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We are currently full but are accepting expressions of interest to be put on a waitlist.

We welcome new members to join our group.  No previous experience required. Tuition is via hands on participation in weekly rehearsals.

People interested in joining can come along and sit in on several rehearsals prior to being accepted and committing to the group.

Rehearsals run every Monday 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the Tallis Room, Ground Floor Melbourne Conservatorium (Melba Hall), Royal Parade, Parkville. From Flinders Street station, take tram 19 along Elizabeth St to Stop 11 on Royal Parade.

Please contact us first before attending, or if you have any questions.

Find out more about Central Javanese gamelan and the instruments >


The members of MCG come from diverse backgrounds but have been brought together by their love of gamelan. Several players have been studying and performing since 1990 formerly under the direction of Pak Poedijono.

Musical Director

Ilona Wright is MCG’s Musical Director and teacher. Ilona has studied gamelan as a music student at the University of Melbourne , joining MCG in the mid-1990s, and has been with the group continuously since then. Ilona is currently a lecturer and the director of student gamelan ensembles at the University of Melbourne. She also works as a piano teacher.