A History of Gamelan in West Java : Website4
Important Tools in the West Javanese Gamelan and Made by
An important tool in the West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo will be discussed this time around. Before modern musical instruments emerged in Indonesia, each region had its own traditional musical instruments. Each traditional musical instrument has its own uniqueness, how it plays for a different story so it is very interesting.
West Java is one of the regions that has many regional musical instruments and is still preserved to this day. Talking about traditional musical instruments from West Java, surely most of us are thinking about angklung. It is undeniable that angklung is the most popular musical instrument.
But, did you know that there are still many traditional West Javanese musical instruments that are still preserved to this day? All traditional musical instruments should be made of natural materials, such as wood, bamboo, copper and so on. Each use of materials definitely gives a different effect to the sound produced.
That’s why we’re going to review more about the gamelan in West Java, both made of bamboo, wood and copper. Before going further, it’s a good idea to find out in general what a gamelan is and how its development history is in West Java.
Find out The West Java Gamelan
An important tool in the West Javanese gamelan and made of what material can be a question for most people. But, it is good if we first know what a West Java gamelan is known as degung. Degung is a traditional musical ensemble consisting of several instruments.
Generally, in the gamelan consists of xylophone, kulanter, kendang, rebab, gong, degung flutet, xylophone, bonang, panerus, lyre, jengglong, sa saron. Each of these musical instruments produces different sounds or sounds so that it is a harmonious melody as a feature of traditional music or songs.
Each gamelan has its own features, for example, a more dynamic tempo for Gamelan Balinese, a slower tempo for Javanese gamelan, and a West Javanese gamelan that is identical to the mendayu-dayu sound of rebab and flute. Both are important tools in the West Javanese gamelan and are made of natural materials.
Historically, the word Degung comes from the word Ratu-agung or Tumenggung because at that time the officers really liked gamelan music, for example, the Regent of Bandung R.A.A. Wiranatakusuma. In addition, there are still other theories that discuss the origins of the term degung, such as something grand and honorable.
A History of Gamelan in West Java
The history of developing important tools in the West Javanese gamelan and made of natural materials will also be discussed in this article. It is estimated that, at the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th century, the Sundanese Gamelan began to develop with 15 gamelan devices introduced and already spread across Java.
Of the 15 gamelan devices, West Java has 5 gamelan devices. Unfortunately, there is no exact information when the gamelan entered West Java, but it is recorded that gamelan entered sunda land around the 16th century according to hyang Siksa Kanda Ng Karesian singing script.
Changes to the Sundanese gamelan occurred during its development, such as the addition of singing to the game once banned by the Regent of Cianjur RT. Wiranatakusumah V because he thought it had become less solemn and the essence of silence disappeared. However, it was that change that made West Javanese gamelan have the traits that 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, a renteng gamelan known as a basic gamelan and gamelan type tilu that is usually used as accompanying music.
Gamelan Made of Bamboo
An important tool in the West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo is the Calung gamelan instrument. Looking at it only, we must have known that bamboo is the main material for making this traditional gamelan instrument. The bamboo will be arranged to form a row of notes that will later be played.
Celembung gamelan instruments are also made of bamboo or better with bamboo skins. To produce sound, celembung uses resonance in bamboo segments that have been arranged one after another according to the resulting tone. How to play it by hitting the celembung using one hand, while the other hand regulates sound processing.
The angklung multitonal instrument is also made of bamboo and can produce double tones so it can be adjusted again to your needs. How to play is also very easy, that is, by stirring it until it makes a sound according to the tone. The sound appears due to the impact of bamboo and inner bamboo pieces, which cause resonance.
Not only are the three important tools in the West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo above, there are many other instruments, such as flute, arumba and carinding for men. Bamboo material is indeed one of the natural materials that is able to produce various types of sounds according to the techniques used.
Gamelan Made of Metal
An important instrument in the West Javanese gamelan and made of metal first was the Saron. This gamelan tool that fits into the balungan family uses a special bat made of wood. The way you play is to hit the metal blade with the right hand, while the left hand holds the previous bar.
The next instrument is the demung that has an almost saron-like appearance. This familyalungan 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 grower is larger in size.
You will also find an important instrument in the West Javanese gamelan and it is made of metal called bonang. This instrument consists of several small gongs placed on a rope in a wooden frame. Each small gong is able to produce a different tone when hit with bats.
In addition, there are still some instruments in the West Javanese gamelan made of metal, such as kenong, gong, xylophone, kempul etc. Most metal-made instruments are musical instruments that are played by being hit using a special batting instrument.
Gamelan Made of Wood
An important instrument in the West Javanese gamelan and made of wood first was the Drum. This hand-hit gamelan tool has a function for setting the rhythm in the gamelan music ensemble. In the gamelan, various types of kendang are known, ranging from small kendang (ketipung) to large kendang.
Another instrument is the rebab, although it was often made of copper but there are now many rebabs made of wood with a crossbow-like shape. The way you play is to rotate the strings, like when you play a modern instrument, that is, the violin by rotating the strings with a special tool.
In addition, there is still another Gamelan instrument called siter, a musical instrument played with picking. So far, this gamelan tool tends to be played rarely even though the sound is no less interesting than other picking instruments. The reason is, this musical instrument bears a resemblance to traditional Indian musical instruments.
There are still many important instruments involved in the West Java gamelan, but some of the above instruments are the most popular instruments. For those of you who are interested in the Sundanese gamelan, it is important to find out the important instruments in the West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo above.