An important tool in West Java gamelan and made of bamboo will be discussed this time. Before the emergence of modern musical instruments in Indonesia, each region had its own traditional musical instruments. Every traditional musical instrument has a unique, how to play to different history so it is very interesting.
West Java became one of the regions that have many regional musical instruments and is still preserved today. Speaking of traditional musical instruments from West Java, surely many of us think of angklung. It is undeniable that angklung is the most popular musical instrument.
But, did you know that there are still many traditional West Java musical instruments that are still preserved today? All traditional musical instruments must be from natural materials, such as wood, bamboo, copper and so on. Each use of the material definitely gives a different effect to the sound produced.
That’s why we will review further about gamelan in West Java, both made of bamboo, wood and copper. Before going any further, it’s a good idea to get to know in general what gamelan is and how the history of its development in West Java.
Getting to know Gamelan West Java
An important tool in West Java gamelan and made of what materials may be a question for many people. But, it’s good if we know in advance what is West Java gamelan known as degung. Degung is a traditional music ensemble consisting of several instruments.
Generally, in gamelan consists of xylophone, kulanter, kendang, rebab, gong, distilled degung, gambang, bonang, panerus, lute, jengglong, to saron. Each instrument produces a different sound or sound so it can be a harmonious melody as a characteristic of traditional music or songs.
Each gamelan has its own characteristics, such as a more dynamic tempo for Balinese gamelan, a slower tempo for Javanese gamelan, and West Java gamelan which is identical to the mendayu-dayu sound of rebab and distilled. Both are important tools in West Java gamelan and are made from natural materials.
According to history, the word Degung comes from the word Ratu-agung or Tumenggung because at that time officials were very fond of gamelan music, for example, the Regent of Bandung R.A.A. Wiranatakusuma. In addition, there are still other theories that discuss the origin of the term degung, such as something majestic and honorable.
History of Gamelan in West Java
The history of the development of important tools in West Java gamelan and made of natural materials will also be discussed in this article. It is estimated that, in the late 18th century or early 19th century, Sundanese Gamelan began to develop with 15 gamelan devices introduced and already spread throughout Java.
Of the 15 gamelan devices, West Java has 5 gamelan devices. Unfortunately there is no definite information when the gamelan entered West Java, but it is noted that gamelan entered the land of Sunda around the 16th century according to the manuscript of Sang Hyang Siksa Kanda Ng Karesian.
Changes to Sundanese gamelan occurred during its development, such as the addition of singing in the game which was banned by the Regent of Cianjur RT. Wiranatakusumah V because he thought it became less solemn and the essence of silence disappeared. However, that change is what makes West Java gamelan has the characteristics as it is now.
Tanah Sunda has 3 types of gamelan, namely gamelan salendro or pelog, gamelan renteng and gamelan type tilu which has their respective uses. Salendro gamelan is often used in art, renteng gamelan known as basic gamelan and gamelan type tilu which is usually used as accompaniment music.
Gamelan Made of Bamboo
An important tool in West Java gamelan and made of bamboo is the Calung gamelan instrument. Just look at it, we certainly already know if bamboo is the main material for making this traditional gamelan instrument. The bamboos will be arranged to form a line of tones that will later be played.
The convex gamelan instrument is also made of bamboo or rather with bamboo skin. To produce sound, the convex utilizes resonance in bamboo segments that have been arranged in a row according to the resulting tone. How to play it by hitting an apron using one hand, while the other hand regulates sound processing.
Multitonal angklung instruments are also made of bamboo and can produce double tones so that they can be adjusted to their needs again. How to play it is also very easy, namely by shaking it to make a sound according to the tone. The sound appeared due to the impact of bamboo and the inner bamboo pieces, causing resonance.
Not only are the three important tools in West Java gamelan and made of bamboo above, there are many other instruments, such as distilled, arumba and karinding for men. Bamboo material is indeed one of the natural materials that are able to emit a variety of sounds in accordance with the techniques used.
Gamelan Made of Metal
An important instrument in West Java gamelan and made of metal the first is Saron. Gamelan tools that enter the balungan family use special bats made of wood. The way to play it is to hit the metal blade with the right hand, while the left hand holds the previous blade.
The next instrument is a demung that has a look almost similar to a saron. This balungan family has 2 different types, namely pelog and slendro that make harmonious sounds. Demung has a blade that tends to be wider, but thinner than saron. The planter is larger in size.
You will also find important instruments in West Java gamelan and made of metal called bonang. This musical 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 a bat.
In addition, there are still some instruments in West Java 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 hit using a special beating device.
Gamelan Made of Wood
An important instrument in West Java gamelan and made of wood the first is gendang. This hand-hit gamelan tool has a function to set the rhythm in the gamelan music ensemble. In gamelan, there are several types of kendang, ranging from small kendang (ketipung) to large kendang.
Another instrument is the rebab, although it used to be made of copper but now many are found rebabs made of wood with a shape resembling an arrow bow. How to play it is to swipe the strings, just like when you play a modern instrument, namely the violin by swiping the string with a special tool.
In addition, there are still other gamelan instruments called siters, musical instruments that are played by plucking. Until now, this gamelan tool tends to be rarely played even though the sound is no less interesting than other picking instruments. The reason is, 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 who are interested in Sundanese gamelan, it is important to get to know the important instruments in West Java gamelan and made of bamboo above.