Lou Harrison

The Lou Harrison Annotated Performance Editions Project


The scores for Lou Harrison's gamelan compositions contain different kinds of notation, performance instructions, instrument adjustment suggestions, composer notes, and performance history. Many of these were compiled by Trish Nielsen, who kept records of dates of premieres and other performance locations, and Jody Diamond who worked on notes for performers and gamelan directors. Both of them worked closely with Lou Harrison for many years

The American Gamelan Institute, which is now the publisher of all of Lou Harrison's works for gamelan, would like to create an annotated performance edition of each of his pieces, so those wishing to perform Lou Harrison's gamelan compositions have important information not always included in the original notation. Harrison tended to focus on composing a central melody, somewhat like a Javanese "balungan," [see Diamond article below]. He then invited players trained in Central Javanese gamelan to realize parts for instruments for which he had not composed specific melodies. Sometimes the gamelan director made decisions about unspecified parts, including important instruments such as the kendhang (drums).

In order to create editions of these pieces that will facilitate performances which represent the composer's interests and intentions, it has become clear that feedback, questions, and suggestions from those who have performed the pieces is essential to building this important resource.

We are inviting those who have performed, or have considered performing, Lou Harrison's compositions for gamelan to contribute to this effort. All comments, other notations of versions of the scores, performance suggestions or histories are welcome, and will be credited to each contributor. Recordings or videos of performances would also be valuable, and will be used solely to assist others in performing these pieces.

To participate in this project, or with further questions, please contact Jody Diamond at agi[@]

* See "In The Beginning Was the Melody: the Gamelan Music of Lou Harrison." Jody Diamond in the Lou Harrison Reader, Peter Garland, ed. Soundings Press, Santa Fe, 1987.

Selected Scores


Many of these pieces have been catalogued, performed, and recorded; others have not. Any piece may be requested from the American Gamelan Institute at agi[@]


In return, send a concert program, and any questions and solutions arising from the performance. In this way, everyone involved with Lou Harrison's music for gamelan can contribute to future performances.

Philemon and Baukis S.Har07 Violin part in Western notation. (Recordings available of entire piece and of gamelan only.) Javanese gamelan slendro.

VIDEO of rehearsal at SUNY New Paltz, Fall 2021. Gamelan Si Betty, Jody Diamond, director: Alex Shiozaki, violin.

Cornish Lancaran S.Har04 Sax part in Western notation. Javanese gamelan pelog. Michael Heller contributed three transpositions of the sax part.

Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan S.Har03 Part for retuned piano in Western notation, gamelan parts in cipher notation. Three movements: slendro - pelog - slendro. Performance notes and cues for the gamelan by Jody Diamond.

A Soejatmoko Set. S.Har14 Three movements for Javanese gamelan and chorus. Text tells story of Ramayana after the "trial by fire." Commissioned by Peter Poole. Premiered at Lewis and Clark College; recorded by Gamelan Pacifica on New World Records.

Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Javanese Gamelan. S.Har18 Commissioned by the Mirecourt Trio; premiered at Mills College.

Scenes from Cavafy. S.Har10 Javanese gamelan slendro/pelog. Harp, baritone and chorus parts in Western notation. Parts for suling, kacapi, gambang, and ya-cheng. Recorded on cassette by Lou Harrison; recorded for New World Records by Gamelan Pacifica.

Gending Aphrodite, for Javanese Gamelan, Harp, and Chorus

Main Bersama-sama, for Gamelan Degung and French horn. S.Har01a Western notation. S.Har01b Cipher notation.

Threnody for Carlos Chavez.. S.Har0 For Gamelan Degung and Viola. Viola part in Western notation. Can also be played on Javanese gamelan pelog ,transposed by Trish Neilsen.

Gending Jody. S.Har02 Javanese gamelan slendro.

Bubaran Robert S.Har05 Trumpet or saxophone part in Western notation. Includes bonang part. Javanese gamelan with piccolo trumpet.

Gending in Honor of Aphrodite S.Har06 Harp and chorus parts in Western notation. English text by Harrison. Pelog. Javanese gamelan, harp, chorus.

Coyote Stories/The Foreman’s Song Tune S.Har09 Four Native American stories, for tenor and gamelan, with instrumental sections. Text in English. Javanese gamelan.

Serenade for Betty Freeman and Franco Assetto S.Har11 Strong suling melody. In Western notation. Gamelan degung.

Gending Alexander S.Har12 Gending bonang in pelog barang. Javanese gamelan.

Homage to Pacifica. S.Har13. A five movement piece in honor of KPFA's new building. Includes In Honor of the Divine Mr. Handel, and In Honor of Mark Twain. Cipher and some Western notation.

Gending Moon. . S.Har16 Slendro. Some parts. Published in Balungan.

In Honor of Munakata Shiko. S.Har19 Javanese gamelan pelog.

Gending-gending California SC.Har01 Fourteen works by California composers. Scores, parts and instructions. Recording available. $6.

Gending in Honor of Palladio. S.Har17

Saron Ricik-ricik. Saron part only. S.Har15

Ladrang Carter Scholz

Gending Bill

For the Pleasure of Ovid’s Changes

Ladrang Epikuros

Gending Hephaestus

Gending Demeter

Gending Dennis

Lancaran Molly

Gending Claude

Gending in Honor of Herakles

Gending Hermes

Gending James and Joel

Gending in Honor of Max Beckman

Gending Pak Cokro

Gending Paul

Gending Pindar

Gending in Honor of the Poet Virgil

Gending Ptolemy

Gending Richard

Gending in Honor of Sinan

Gending Vincent

Ibu Trish

In Honor of Mark Twain

In Honor of the Divine Mr. Handel

Ketawang Wellington

Gending in Honor of Pak Daliyo

Ladrang Wave (sketch only)

Lancaran Antony

Lancaran Daniel

Gending Jody

Lancaran Samuel (same as Cornish Lancaran)

Ladrang Samuel (from Whittington wayang)

Ladrang Lafehnaktinangingan (collaborative piece)

Lagu Elang Yusef

Lagu Pa Undang

Lagu Sociseknum (whose?)

movie music

Music for the Turning of a Sculpture by Pamela Boden



Another Orchard

Serenade? another one?

Ketawang Whittington (aka Wellington?)


Faust (soprano, tenor, bass, chorus, chamber orchestra, Sundanese gamelan), 1985

A Round for Jafran Jones (Balinese gamelan), 1991

Dartington Hall (Javanese gamelan), 1996

A Dentdale Ladrang (Javanese gamelan), 1999

Lagu Lagu Thomasan (Cirebonese gamelan), 1983

Lagu Cirebon (Cirebonese gamelan), 1983

Lagu Victoria (Cirebonese gamelan), 1983

Belle’s Bull (from piano concerto)

Bull’s Belle (from piano concerto)

Air (violin, yacheng, gender)



KPFK broadcast on "Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan" on Global Village with host John Schneider, and guests Sarah Cahill, Jody Diamond, and Evan Ziporyn.



An American Gamelan, by William Colvig

Instruction Manual: the Colvig-Harrison Monochord A tool for the study of intonation.