Get to know West Java Gamelan : DesaCanggu

Essential tool in West Java Gamelan and made from

An important tool in the West Javanese gamelan and bamboo will be discussed    this  time. Before the emergence of contemporary musical instruments in Indonesia, each region had its own traditional musical instruments. Each traditional musical instrument has its own uniqueness, different ways of playing and history, so it is very interesting.

West Java is one of the regions that has many regional musical instruments and is still preserved today. We are talking about traditional musical instruments from West Jave, certainly many of us are thinking about angklung. It is indisputable that 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 and so on. Each use of materials avoids a different effect of the sound produced.

That’s why we’re going to take a closer look at gamelan in West Java, both from bamboo, wood and copper. Before we go any further, it is good to know in general what is gamelan and how the history of its development in West Java.

Get to know West Java Gamelan

An important tool in the West Javanese gamelan and made of what material can be an issue for many people. But, it’s good to know first of all what the West Javanese gamelan is known as degung. Degung is a traditional musical ensemble consisting of several instruments.

In general, gamelan consists of xylophone, kulanter, kendang, rebab, gong, flute degung, xylophone, bonang, panerus, lyre, jengglong, this saron. Each of these musical instruments produces different sounds or sounds, so it can become harmonious melody as a feature of traditional music or song.

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Each gamelan has its own characteristics, for example, a more dynamic pace for Balinese gamelan, a slower pace for Javanese gamelan, and a Western Javanese gamelan, which is anonyony for mendayu-dayu sounds from rebab and flute. Both are important tools in west java gamelan and are made  of natural materials.

According to history, the word Degung comes from the word Ratu-agung or Tumenggung, because at that time officials really loved gamelan music, such as regent bandung R.A.A. Wiranatakusuma. In addition, there are other theories dealing with the origin of the term degung, such as something great and honorable.

Zgodovina Gamelan v West Java

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

Of the 15 gamelan devices, West Java has 5 gamelan devices. Unfortunately, there was no definitive information when Gamelan entered West Java, but it is noted that Gamelan entered sundan land around the 16th century after the manuscript of Sang Hyang Siksa Kanda Ng Karesian.

During the development, there were changes in the Sundan gamelan, such as the addition of singing in a game banned by Regent Cianjur RT. Wiranatakusumah V because he thought it had become less bright and the essence of silence disappeared. However, this was the change that made the West Java gamelan have features as it is now.

Tanah Sunda has 3 types of gamelan, namely salendro or pelog gamelan, renteng gamelan and typewriter gamelan tulu, which have their respective uses. Gamelan salendro is widely used in art, gamelan renteng known as basic gamelan and gamelan type tulu, which is commonly used as accompanying music.

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Gamelan from bamboo

An important tool in the West Javanese gamelan and from bamboo is the Calung gamelan instrument. The bamboos will be arranged to form rows of notes that will be played later.

Whole gamelan instruments are also made of bamboo or better from bamboo. To produce sound, it uses resonance in segments of bamboo that have been distributed in order of the resulting tone. How to play it by hitting it with one hand in the whole, and the other one regulating sound processing.

Multitonal angklung instruments are also made of bamboo and can produce double tone so that they can be re-adjusted to your needs. How to play it is also very easy, by cooling until it makes sound according to the tone. The sound occurs due to the influence of bamboo and internal pieces of bamboo, which causes resonance.

Not only the three important tools in the West Javanese gamelan and from the bamboo above, there  are many other instruments such as flute, arumba and karinding for men. Bamboo material is indeed one of the natural materials that is able to emit different types of sounds according to the techniques used.

Gamelan of metal

An important instrument in the West Javanese gamelan and from the first metal was Saron. The gamelan tool, which enters the balungan family, uses a special bat made of wood. The way to play is to strike the metal blade with his right hand, while the left hand holds the previous blade.

The next instrument is demung, which looks almost like a saron. This Balungan family has 2 different species, namely the pelologist and the slendro, which make a harmonious sound. Demung has blades that are wider but thinner than saron. The Demung production program tool is larger in size.

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You will also find an important instrument in the West Javanese gamelan and is made of  metal called bonang. This musical instrument consists of several small gongs that are on a rope in a wooden frame. Each little gong is capable of producing a different tone when it strikes with a bat.

In addition, there are still some instruments in west Javanese gamelan made of metal such as kenong, gong, xylophone, kempul and so on. Most metal instruments are musical instruments that are played by a punch using a special bat.

Gamelan made of wood

An important instrument in the West Javanese gamelan and made of wood first is Bobn. This hand-beaten gamelan instrument has a function to set the rhythm in the acting musical ensemble. The gamelan is known for several species of kendanga, ranging from the little kenpung (ketipung) to the great kending.

Another instrument is rebab, although it was sometimes often made of copper, but now there are many rebabs made of wood with a shape that resembles a crossbow. The way to play it is to pull the strings, just like when you play a modern instrument, namely a violin with a string swing with a special tool.

In addition, there is another gamelan instrument called siter, a musical instrument that is played with picking. Until now, this gamelan tool is usually rarely played, although the sound is no less interesting than other string instruments. The reason is that this musical instrument has a resemblance to traditional Indian musical instruments.

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

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