Central Java is a province in the middle of the island of Java, to the north of the Java Sea to the north, bordered by West Java in the west, the Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY) in the south and East Java in the east.

The traditional musical instrument of Central Java is Gamelan, the word Gamelan itself comes from the Javanese “gamel” which means hitting or beating, followed by the suffix “an” which makes it a noun. While the term gamelan has the meaning as a unified musical instrument that is played together.

Friends of Indonesian Tourism GPS, let’s get to know Gamelan music in more detail.

1. Kendang, drum or drum

Kendang (http://hudiefendi.blogspot.com)

A good drum is made of jackfruit, coconut or cempedak wood. Buffalo skin is often used for bam (the surface of the part that emits a low-pitched beat) while goatskin is used for chang (the outer surface that emits a high-pitched beat). On a “Y” shaped leather strap or rattan cord, which can be tightened or loosened to change the basic tone. The tighter the pull of the skin, the higher the sound it produces.

The main function of the drum is to regulate the rhythm. This drum is sounded by hand, without any tools. The small type of drum is called ketipung, the medium one is called ciblon/kebar drum. There is another pair of ketipung named drum gedhe commonly called drum kalih.

Kalih drums are played on songs or gendhing with subtle characters such as kendang kalih, gendhing kethuk kalih, and ladrang rhythm dadi.

Can also be played quickly at the opening of the song type of smooth, ladrang rhythm responsibility. To play drums, it takes people who are deeply immersed in Javanese culture, and played with the instinctive feeling of the player, of course with the existing rules.

2. Bonang

Bonang (http://rasyidkurniawan.wordpress.com)

Bonang is divided into two types, namely bonang barung and bonang panerus. The difference is in big and small, and also in how to play the rhythm.

The large bonang barung, in middle to high octave, is one of the leading instruments in the ensemble. Especially in the pipilan wasp technique, tone patterns that always anticipate future notes can guide the songs of other instruments. gendhing bonang, bonang barung plays the opening gendhing and guides the flow of the gendhing song. In the reward wasp technique, bonang barung does not function as a guiding song; it forms patterns of intertwining songs with bonang panerus, and in important accents the bonang may make sekaran (ornamental songs), usually at the end of the song’s sentence.

Bonang panerus is a small, high-octave bonang. In the pipilan wasp technique, the rhythm of the bonang panerus has twice the speed in playing that of the bonang barung. Although anticipating the tones of balungan, bonang panerus does not function as a guide song, due to the speed and height of the pitch.

In the technique of reward wasps, in collaboration with bonang barung, bonang panerus plays intertwining song patterns.

3. demung

Demung (http://kultur-indonesia.org)

Demung is a gamelan instrument that belongs to the balungan family. In a gamelan set there are usually 2 demung, both have pelog and slendro versions.

This instrument is in the form of a blade with six or seven blades (one octave) superimposed on a wooden frame that also functions as a resonator. The noodle instrument is beaten with a percussion made of wood.

According to size and function, there are three types of saron:

– Demung (Biggest)
– Saron or Saron Barung (Medium) and
– Peking or Successor Saron (Least)

This tool is large and has a middle octave. Demung plays balungan gendhing in his limited area. Generally, a gamelan set has one or two demungs. But there is a gamelan in the palace that has more than two demung.

4. Saron, Saron Barung, Ricik

Saron (http://nugrohoaksel.blogspot.com/)

Saron, also known as ricik, is a gamelan instrument that belongs to the balungan family. This tool is medium in size and high octave. Like demung, saron barung plays balungan in its limited territory. In the wasp-reward technique, two sarons play a fast-paced intertwining song.

A gamelan set usually has 4 saron, and all of them have pelog and slendro versions. Saron produces notes an octave higher than demung, with a smaller physical size. Saron drums are usually made of wood, with a shape like a hammer.

5. Peking (Saron Successor)

Peking (http://yern-yernie.blogspot.com)

The shape of the smallest saron and the highest octave. This Saron Panerus or Pekingese plays double or quadruple beats of balungan songs.

6. Kenong and Kethuk

Kenong (http://gothe-samar.blogspot.com)

Kenong is a set of instruments similar to a gong in a horizontal position, superimposed on a rope that is tensioned on a wooden frame. In defining the structure of a gendhing, the kenong is the second most important instrument after the gong. Kenong divides the gongan into two or four kenong sentences.

Kethuk (http://anomharya.com)

Besides functioning to underline the structure of the gendhing, the kenong notes are also related to the gendhing song; it can play the same tone as the balungan tone; he may also precede the next balungan tone to guide the tune of the gendhing song; or he can play a kempyung note with a balungan tone, to support a sense of pathet. In fast-style kenongan, in ayaka-yakan, srepegan, and sampak, the kenong beat guides the flow of the gendhing-gendhing songs.

Kethuk is the same as kenong, its function is also the same as kenong. Kenong and Kethuk always play intertwined, the difference is in the rhythm of the playing.

7. Slenthem

Slenthem (http://yudhipri.wordpress.com)

According to its construction, slenthem belongs to the gender family; in fact it is sometimes called the panembung gender. But the slenthem has as many blades as the saron blade; the lowest octave slenthem in the saron instrument group. Like demung and saron barung, slenthem plays balungan songs within its limited area.

8. Gender

Gender barung (http://goblokku.wordpress.com)

The instrument consists of metal blades tensioned with strings over the resonator ridges. This gender is played with a round percussion (circled by a layer of cloth) with a short stalk.

Successor gender (http://goblokku.wordpress.com)

According to the song’s function, pitch area, and size, there are two kinds of gender:

– new gender
– Successor gender

9. Gong and Kempul

Kempul and Gong (http://gothe-samar.blogspot.com)

The gong marks the beginning and end of the gendhing and gives a sense of balance after the passage of long sentences of the gendhing. Gong is very important to mark the end of the basic group unit of the song, so the group itself (ie the song sentence between two gong beats) is called gongan.

Kempul (http://sosbud.kompasiana.com)

There are two kinds of gongs:

– Gong ageng (big)
– Gong suwukan or gong siyem of medium size. Small hanging gong. Kempul marks important accents in the sentence of the gendhing song.

In conjunction with the gendhing song, the kempul can play the same tone as the balungan tone; sometimes kempul precedes the next balungan tone.

10. Xylophone

Gambang (http://gothe-samar.blogspot.com)

The instrument is made of wooden blades framed on a gerobogan which also functions as a resonator. With seventeen to twenty blades, the gambang region covers two octaves or more. The xylophone is played with a round percussion with a long stalk usually of horn/sungu. The xylophone plays a gembyangan (octave) in the style of a song pattern pattern with steady beats. The xylophone can also play several kinds of song ornamentation and rhythm, such as a two-tone game separated by two blades, or a two-tone game separated by six blades, and a song pattern with a rhythm – syncopated rhythm.

11. Fiddle

Rebab is being played (http://websiteindonesia.blogspot.com)

A two-wire stringed instrument tensioned on a wooden strip with a heart-shaped body covered with a membrane (thin skin) of cow chronicle.

Rebab (http://sosbud.kompasiana.com)

As one of the leading instruments, the rebab is recognized as the leader of the song in the ensemble, especially in the soft wasp style. In most gendhing-gendhing, the rebab plays the opening song of the gendhing, determining the gendhing, barrel, and pathet to be played. The fiddle tone area covers a wide area. any gending. Then the groove of the fiddle song gives clear instructions on the path of the gendhing song plot. In most gendhing, the rebab also provides musical guidance for the ensemble to move from one section to another.

12. siter

Siter (http://gothe-samar.blogspot.com)

The zither is a part of the gamelan rician whose sound source is a string (wire) which is played by plucking the technique. This type of instrument is seen from the shape and color of the sound, there are three kinds, namely siter, successor siter (smaller in size than siter), and clempung (larger in size than siter). In the klenengan musical presentation or concert and puppet accompaniment, the siter functions as a song pangrengga.

13. Flute

Flute (http://goblokku.wordpress.com)

Another type of gamelan instrument that also functions as a song pangrengga is the flute. This instrument is made of bamboo wuluh or paralon which is given a hole to determine the tone or barrel. At one end, the part that is blown attached to the lips is given a layer of cover called jamangan which functions to circulate air so that it causes air vibrations that cause sound or sound. In the karawitan tradition, there are two types of flutes, namely the form of the flute with the Slendro barrel having four holes that are almost the same distance apart, while the Pelog barrel with five holes with different distances. There is also a flute with six holes that can be used for Pelog and Slendro barrels. For the Slendro-barreled flute in East Java musical if all four holes are closed and blown with moderate pressure the resulting tone is lu (3), whereas in Central Javanese musical, it is common with ro-barreled (2).

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