History of Gamelan in West Java : SoalSekolahmu

An important tool in West Javanese gamelan and made of

An important tool in West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo will be discussed this time.- Before the emergence of modern musical instruments in Indonesia, each region had its own traditional musical instruments. Each traditional musical instrument has its own uniqueness, how to play a different story, so it’s very interesting.

West Java is one of the regions that has many regional musical instruments and is still preserved today. Speaking of traditional musical instruments from West Java, many of us surely think of the angklung. It is undeniable that the angklung is the most popular musical instrument.

But, did you know that there are still many traditional Western Javanese musical instruments that are still preserved today? All traditional musical instruments must be made of natural materials, such as wood, bamboo, copper, etc. Each use of materials definitely gives a different effect to the sound produced.

That’s why we’re going to go over gamelan in West Java in more detail, both made of bamboo, wood, and copper. Before we go any further, it’s a good idea to know in general what gamelan is and how the history of its development in West Java is.

Get to know the Gamelan of West Java

An important tool in West Javanese gamelan and made of which material can be a matter for many people. But, it’s good if we first know what west Java gamelan is known as degung. Degung is a traditional musical ensemble consisting of several instruments.

Generally, in gamelan consists of xylophone, kulanter, kendang, rebab, gong, degung flute, xylophone, bonang, panerus, lyre, jengglong, saron. Each of these musical instruments produces different sounds or sounds so that it can be a harmonious melody as a feature of traditional music or songs.

Each gamelan has its own characteristics, for example, a more dynamic tempo for Balinese gamelan, a slower tempo for Javanese gamelan and West Javanese gamelan that is identical to the mendayu-dayu sound of rebab and flute. Both are important tools in West Javanese gamelan and are made from natural materials.

Historically, the word Degung comes from the word Ratu-agung or Tumenggung because at that time officials loved gamelan music, for example, the regent of Bandung R.A.A. Wiranatakusuma. In addition, there are still other theories that discuss the origin of the term degung, as something great and honorable.

History of Gamelan in West Java

The history of the development of an important tool in West Javanese gamelan and made from natural materials will also be discussed in this article. It is estimated that in the late 18th or early 19th century, the Sundanese Gamelan began to develop with 15 gamelan devices introduced and already widespread throughout Java.

Of the 15 gamelan devices, West Java has 5 gamelan devices. Unfortunately, there is no exact information about when gamelan entered West Java, but it is recorded that gamelan entered the land of Sunda around the 16th century according to the sung writing Hyang Siksa Kanda Ng Karesian.

Changes to the Sundanese gamelan occurred during its development, such as the addition of singing in the game that was once banned by the regent of Cianjur RT. Wiranatakusumah V because he thought it had become less solemn and the essence of silence had disappeared. However, it is this change that has made West Javanese gamelan have the characteristics it is now.

Tanah Sunda has 3 types of gamelan, namely gamelan salendro or pelog, gamelan renteng and gamelan type tilu that have their own uses. Gamelan salendro is often used in art, gamelan renteng known as basic gamelan and gamelan type tilu which is usually used as accompanying music.

Bamboo gamelan

An important tool in West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo is the Calung gamelan instrument. Just by looking at it, we should know that bamboo is the main material for the manufacture of this traditional gamelan instrument. The bamboos will be arranged to form a row of notes that will then be played.

Celembung gamelan instruments are also made of bamboo or rather with bamboo skins. To produce sound, celembung uses resonance in bamboo segments that have been arranged in rows according to the resulting tone. How to play it by hitting the celebrant with one hand, while the other hand regulates the processing of sound.

The angklung multitonal instrument is also made of bamboo and can produce double tones so that it can be adjusted to your needs again. How to play it is also very easy, namely shaking it until it makes a sound according to tone. The sound appears due to the impact of bamboo and pieces of inner bamboo, causing resonance.

Not only the three important tools of the West Javanese and bamboo gamelan above, there are many other instruments, such as the flute, arumba and karinding for men. Bamboo is indeed one of the natural materials capable of producing different types of sounds depending on the techniques used.

Metal gamelan

An important instrument in West Javanese gamelan and made of metal the first was the Saron. This gamelan tool that enters the balungan family uses a special wooden bat. The way to play it is to hit the metal blade with the right hand, while the left hand holds the previous bar.

The next instrument is the demung which has an almost similar appearance to the saron. This balungan family has 2 different types, namely pelog and slendro that make harmonious sounds. Demung has blades that tend to be wider, but thinner than sarons. The demung cultivator is larger in size.

You will also find an important instrument in West Javanese gamelan and it is made of metal called bonang. This instrument consists of several small gongs placed on a string in a wooden frame. Each small gong is able to produce a different tone when hit with a bat.

In addition, there are still some instruments in West Javanese metal gamelan, such as kenong, gong, xylophone, kempul and so on. Most metal instruments are musical instruments that are played while being struck using a special typing instrument.

Wooden gamelan

An important instrument in West Javanese gamelan and made of wood the first was the drum. This hand-struck gamelan tool has the function of adjusting the rhythm in the gamelan music set. In gamelan, several types of kendang are known, ranging from small kendang (ketipung) to large kendang.

Another instrument is the rebab, although it is often made of copper, but there are now many wooden rebabs with a crossbow-like shape. The way to play it is to slide the strings, just like when you play a modern instrument, namely the violin by sliding the strings with a special tool.

In addition, there is yet another gamelan instrument called siter, a musical instrument that is played by picking. So far, this gamelan tool tends to be rarely played even if the sound is no less interesting than other picking instruments. The reason for this is that this musical instrument has similarities with traditional Indian musical instruments.

There are still many important instruments involved in West Java gamelan, but some of the above instruments are the most popular instruments. For those of you who are interested in Sundanese gamelan, it is important to know the important instruments of West Javanese and bamboo gamelan above.


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