Catapulting into Classical

A headlong leap into music, history, and composing

Gamelan in the park: music is everywhere

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So I’m walking near a playground in a park when I hear…gamelan music?  In the corner of the playground I found a number of musical installations with attached rubber mallets.  Of course I tested them all, and all produced these beautiful muted, round tones, very pleasant to the ear with no dissonance.  A xylophone-like structure revealed that the pipes had been tuned to a pentatonic-like scale.  They were visually interesting as well.

No camera, no video with me.  Just a notebook to write down written on the installations.

I found out that musician Richard Cooke started a company to produce these instruments for parks and playgrounds to encourage children to make music (and sound good in the process, even further encouragement).  And I wasn’t the only adult to pick up a mallet.

I typically don’t combine the words “soothing” and “playground” but that was in fact the case.  I’d still be there if the rumble of thunder didn’t put an end to outdoor music making.

Here’s a video with an overview of the company’s products and installations.


One thought on “Gamelan in the park: music is everywhere

  1. What an idea. For the ages.


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