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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 rise 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 with a different history, so it is very interesting.

West Java is one of the regions that has many regional musical instruments and is still preserved. Speaking of traditional musical instruments from West Java, many of us certainly think of angklung. There’s no denying that the 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 today? All traditional musical instruments should be made of natural materials, such as wood, bamboo, copper and so on. Each use of materials certainly gives a different effect to the sound produced.

Therefore, we will further review the gamelan in West Java, both made of bamboo, wood and copper. Before you go any further, it’s a good idea to find out in general what gamelan is and how the history of its development in West Java is.

Meet The Gamelan of West Java

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

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

Each gamelan has its own characteristics, for example, a more dynamic tempo for Balinese gamelan, a slower pace 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 of natural materials.

Historically, the word Degung comes from the word Ratu-agung or Tumenggung because officials at that time were very fond of gamelan music, for example, the regent of Bandung R.A.A. Wiranatakusuma. In addition, there are other theories that discuss the origin of the term degung, such 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 of 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 being introduced and already spreading 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 has been recorded that gamelan entered the land of Sunda around the 16th century according to the sung Hyang Siksa Kanda Ng Karesian script.

Changes to the Sundanese gamelan occurred during development, such as the addition of vocals in the game that was once banned by the Regent of Cianjur RT. Wiranatakusumah V because he thought it became less solemn and the essence of silence disappeared. However, it was that change that gave West Javanese gamelan the characteristics it is today.

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

Gamelan made of bamboo

An important tool in West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo is the Calung gamelan instrument. If we look at it alone, we must have known that bamboo is the most important material for making this traditional gamelan instrument. The bamboos are arranged to form a row of notes that are played later.

Celembung gamelan instruments are also made of bamboo or rather with bamboo skins. To produce sound, celembung uses resonance in bamboo segments arranged in a row according to the resulting tone. How to play it by touching the celembung with one hand, while the other hand controls the processing of the sound.

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

Not only the three main tools in West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo above, there are many other instruments, such as flute, arumba and carinving for men. Bamboo material is indeed one of the natural materials capable of producing different types of sounds according to the techniques used.

Gamelan made of metal

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

The next instrument is the demung which looks almost the same as the saron. This balungan family has 2 different types, namely pelog and slendro that make harmonious sounds. Demung has blades that are usually wider, but thinner than sarons. The demung grower is larger in size.

You’ll also find an important instrument in West Javanese gamelan and it’s made of metal called bonang. This instrument consists of several small gongs placed on a rope in a wooden frame. Each small gong is capable of producing a different tone when struck with a bat.

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

Gamelan made of wood

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

Another instrument is the rebab, although it used to be often made of copper, but now there are many rebabs made of wood with a shape similar to a crossbow. The way to play it is by sweeping over the strings, just like when you play a modern instrument, namely the violin by sweeping over the strings with a special tool.

In addition, there is another gamelan instrument called siter, a musical instrument that is played by plucking. Until now, this gamelan tool is usually rarely played, even though the sound is no less interesting than other pick instruments. The reason 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 interested in Sundanese gamelan, it is important to  get to know the important instruments in West Javanese gamelan and made of bamboo above.

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