The primary set of instruments used by Gamelan Tunas Mekar is a gamelan angklung ("angklung" means "bamboo"), imported from Bali by Colorado Women's College in 1976 and now owned by the University of Denver Lamont School of Music. The four metal bars of the instruments, as pictured on the left, are suspended over bamboo resonators encased in hand-carved jackfruit wood.
In his liner notes to Gamelan Tunas Mekar's first CD, released in the Spring of 1995, David Harnish says: "Gamelan angklung is a four-tone orchestra, one of more than twenty different types of indigenous gamelan in Bali consisting of gongs, metal xylophones, cymbals, flutes, and drums. The term "gamelan" (from the Javanesegamel, to strike) refers to a group of instruments meant to be played together (i.e. an ensemble), while the term"angklung" refers to tuned bamboo rattles which were long ago discarded from most ensembles of their namesake. Gamelan Tunas Mekar plays the vibrant music that accompanies temple festivals and traditional life-cycle rites, including tooth filings and cremations, as well as more recreational events. The traditional compositions are considered music for the deities while more modern pieces display the virtuoso technique of Balinese gamelan. For the Balinese, music and dance are an inseparable part of their uniquely Hindu faith within the largely Islamic nation of Indo