Pipe Gamelan, Galvanized

Pipe Gamelan, Galvanized

(Tube A Phone, Tubaphone, Tubophone, Tubaphon, Tubuscampanophon)

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The pipe gamelan was built by staff at 20th Century Fox Studios for use in the movie The King and I. Emil Richards bought the instrument from Fox Studios while on location in the 1990s. The three-octave range and western tuning meant that composers could write for it to be played in an orchestra.

As with many rougher, “homemade” mallet instruments, the overtone series is inconsistent throughout the instrument, but gives it character. Emil usually played the pipe gamelan with glockenspiel or hard vibraphone mallets.



  • Listen for the repetitive, underlying rhythm of the galvanized pipe gamelan in The Bourne Supremacy (2004) by composer John Powell.

Please note: these are just examples, as playing technique and mallet/stick choices often have a great effect on the timbre.

These sound excerpts, to the best of our knowledge (unless otherwise noted), include this actual instrument from our collection. To hear the instrument yourself, or to let us know of any errors, please contact us.