All About Gamelan Music – Gamelan is one of traditional musical ensemble from Indonesia. It is typically from Bali or Java island. In gamelan music there are variety of music instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed, plucked strings and there are a vocalist too. In this article we will write All About Gamelan Music that we found the source from internet.
All About Gamelan Music
Word of Gamelan is comes from Javanese word that is gamels, its meaning to strike or hammer. Gamelan also integral part of all cutural activities in Java such as for wayang kulit (leather puppets) performance, uyon-uyon (symphony orchestra performance), court dance, etc. In this music there are two kinds of laras (tuning), Slendro (comparable to minor key in Western Music) and Pelog (major key). in All About Gamelan Music, They are the non percussion and/or non-bronze musical instruments used to accompany a wayang purwa performance.
If you see Gamelan music ensemble, there are a lot of sets of music istrument. In Gamelan there is consist of two sets of different instruments, Slendro and Pelog. Instrument of gamelan music in All About Gamelan Music , such as :
- Kendang (double ended drum beaten by hands)
It is a leading instrument. The pengendang (drumer) is the conductor of the gamelan orchestra. There are five (5) different sizes of kendang from 20 cm to 45 cm.
A glockenspiel with bronze bar struck with wooden mallet. There are three kinds; Saron Barung, Saron Peking, Saron Demung.
Picture of Saron
- Bonang Barung
A double row of bronze kettles resting on a horizontal frame, played with two long stick bound with red cord at the striking end.
- Bonang Penerus
Picture of Bonang Penerus
Thin bronze bars suspended over bamboo resonating chambers, struck with a padded disc on the end of a stick.
Similar to slentem with more bronze keys and smaller bamboo chamber, struck with two disc-shaped hammers.
Picture of Gender
Wooden bars laid over a wooden frame struck with two sticks of supple buffalo horn, ending with a small, round, padded disc.
Each slendro and pelog set had three gongs. Two big gongs (Gong Ageng) and one gong Suwukan about 90 cm, made from bronze, suspended on a wooden frame. It marks the end of the largest phrase of the melody.
Picture of Gong
Smaller gongs, marks a smaller phrase. In each slendro and pelog set, there are 6 (six) or 10 (ten) kempuls.
Smaller gongs lay horizontally on crossed cord, inside a wooden frame. A complete set of kenong in each slendro and pelog consist of 10 (ten) kenongs.
Picture of Kenong
The kenong player also plays it smaller kenong, marks subdivisions of phrases.
A string instrument, each slendro and pelog set needs one clempung.
Smaller cemplung, each slendro and pelog set needs one siter
Picture of Siter
It is a flute, each slendro and pelog set, needs one suling.
A two stringed viol, the same as slendro and pelog.
- Keprak and Kepyak
Needed for gamelan to accompany dances.
It is a very big drum
Picture of Bedug
The bars of the gamelan instruments can be made either from iron, copper or bronze. The bronze bars are the best choice. All the gamelan players are sitting cross-legged on a mat during a performance.
Still in All About Gamelan Music, In a gamelan music concert or karawitan performance, the Kendang player or pengendang conducts the Tempo, while the melody is led by the bonang player. The gamelan orchestra includes some singers (Pesinden), female as well as male. There are some very famous Pesindens, their names are almost known by everybody in this region. Some believe that in the ancient time, the first set of gamelan, by the name of Lokananta was created by gods and played in Mount Lawu, Eastward of Solo.
In short the history of gamelan was as follow:
The first gamelan was the three-toned Munggang, then the five-toned slendro gamelan and the last: the seven-toned pelog gamelan. If you still confused what is Gamelan Music, we give you the video of All About Gamelan Music that we found on youtube :
Video of All About Gamelan Music History
In the laras slendro, there are:
- Slendro patet nem
- Slendro patet sanga
- Slendro patet manyura
In the laras pelog, there are:
- Pelog patet lima
- Pelog patet nem
- Pelog patet barong
Patet is a place to lay the gending or to establish the gending. In the wayang kulit (shadow puppet) whole night show, the gamelan plays,
- Slendro patet nem from 9.00-12.00 p.m.
- Slendro patet sanga from 00.00-03.00 a.m.
- Slendro patet manyura from 03.00-06.00 a.m.
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