The Gehennese orchestra includes double-reed pipes, fipple flutes (rather like recorders), drums, cymbals, zithers, harps, and various sets of tuned percussion instruments, resembling timpani, xylophones, and tubular bells. Sometimes a syrinx is added for a particular effect, or even a banjo or two.

Although the flutes are the main melodic section of a Gehennese orchestra, technical difficulties make the gamelan, the percussion section, the core of the orchestra. The percussion instruments of the gamelan cannot be tuned except by scraping away material: an inconvenient and eventually destructive process. Also, Gehennum has no standard pitch to which different instruments can be tuned. Each chime is made to be part of a particular gamelan, and cannot be played in another.

Flutes come and go, tuned to an orchestra by a simple adjustment. The gamelan stays.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.