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Cultural Artifacts In Gamelan Musical Instruments

HISTORY OF CULTURECultural Artifacts In Gamelan Musical Instruments | For the people of Indonesia, especially in Java, gamelan is not something strange in life. They are the Javanese and Sundanese gamelan know which one is called or a set of gamelan, even if the person concerned can not play it. Those familiar with the term gamelan, musicians, or gangsa. However, perhaps there are still many who do not know how the historical development of the gamelan itself, since when gamelan began to exist in Java.

Dutch scholar, Dr. J.L.A. Brandes, said that long before the coming influence of Indian culture, the Javanese culture has rnemiliki skills or knowledge which includes 10 items (Brandes, 1889), namely:
1. puppets,
2. gamelan,
3. rhythm science poem,
4. batik,
5. metalworking,
6. system of its own currency,
7. science and technology, shipping,
8. astronomy,
9. agricultural fields,
10. regular government bureaucracy.

That way, if the opinions of Brandes not mistaken, the ten items of cultural skills not from giving the Indian nation. It really means the existence of gamelan and wayang has existed since prehistoric times although the exact year is difficult to know because people are not familiar with the writing system. There is no written evidence that can be used to track the gamelan in prehistoric times. Gamelan is a cultural product to satisfy the human need for art, and art is one element of culture that are universal. This means that every nation has ascertained the arts, although his form is different between one nation with another nation. If contact occurs between nations culture, arts, too, intersect, so that can happen when a nation absorbing element of art from other nations adapted to local conditions. Therefore, since its existence, gamelan until now has undergone changes and developments, especially in ansambelnya completeness.

The term "gamelan" refers to the art of gamelan, is widely used by the Java community. The term is experiencing growth in terms of use and pemaknaannya. Many people interpret the "musicians" depart from the word "pepper" which means small, delicate, or intricate. That said, in Surakarta palace environment, musicians have also used the term as an umbrella of several branches of art, such as carving decoration, carving, dance, until pedhalangan (Supanggah, 2002: 5-6). In a narrow sense, the term used to describe a musical type of sound art, or music that contain one or both of the following elements (Supanggah, 2002: 12): using gamelan instruments-either partially or wholly or slendro slendro-barreled some or all of ; use the barrel (scales) slendro and / or pelog, either instrumental or vocal gamelan or nongamelan or a mixture of both.

Javanese gamelan now not known in Indonesia alone, has grown even abroad such as in the United States, Britain, Japan, Canada. Karawitan has worldwide. So it is quite ironic when the Javanese as a direct heir to not even care about this art. Other nations actually very appreciative and diligently study the gamelan, "beat" the indigenous people as the heirs of this masterpiece ancestors.

Data Sources about Gamelan
Culture of Java and the archipelago generally, began to enter the era of history, marked by a writing system. During the period between VIll centuries until the XV century AD, the Javanese cultural elements have enrichment of Indian culture. Elements of Indian culture, one of which, can be seen on the art of gamelan and dance, through the transformation of the Hindu-Buddhist culture. The data on the existence of gamelan found on verbal sources, namely sources written in the form of inscriptions and literary books that come from the Hindu-Buddhist. Also, this source of pictorial sources, such as reliefs carved on the temple, both the temples that come from the classical Central Java (the 7th century until the 10th) and the temples that come from the East Java a more classical young (the 11th century to 15th) (Haryono, 1985).

In sources written during the East Java, gamelan ensemble group said to be "tabeh-tabehan" (in the Java language the New "percussion" or "tetabuhan", meaning everything that played or sounded with beaten). Zoetmulder explains the word "gamel" with a percussive instrument, the instrument that is struck (1982). In the Java language, there is the word "trash" which means a hitter. In the Balinese language, the term "gambelan" which then might be the term gamelan. The term gamelan has been mentioned in connection with the music. During the Kadiri (the 13th century AD), a music expert Judith Becker said that the word gamelan comes from the name of a priest who is a Burma expert named Gumlao iron. If Becker's opinion is true, of course, the term gamelan is also found in Burma or in some areas of mainland Southeast Asia; but apparently not.

Picture of Gamelan instruments at Festival
In some parts of the walls of the Borobudur temple can be seen the kinds of gamelan instruments, namely: strappy drums are worn around the neck, like a pot-shaped drums, zither and lute, cymbals, flute, saron, xylophone. In the temple of Lara Jonggrang (Prambanan) can be seen the picture reliefs cylindrical drum, drum convex, drums form a pot, and cymbals (intelligence), and distilled. Relief images of gamelan instruments in the temples of East Java can be found in Jago Temple (-13 th century AD) in the form of stringed instruments: long-necked lute and zither. While at the temple Ngrimbi (century - 13 AD) there is relief reyong (two bonang pencon).

Meanwhile, a large gong reliefs found in the Temple Kedaton (14th century AD), and the cylindrical drum in Tegawangi Temple (14th century AD). In Panataran main temple (14th century AD) there is relief gong, bendhe, kemanak, percussion drums similar and, on the terrace there is a relief pandapa xylophone, reyong, and cymbals. In Sukuh (15th century AD) carved reliefs bendhe and trumpet. Based on the data on the relief and literary books obtained indicate that at least there is no influence of India on the existence of several types of Javanese gamelan. The presence of music in India very closely with religious activity. Music is one important element in religious ceremonies (Koentjaraningrat, 1985: 42-45). In the several books of literary India like Natya Sastra, the art of music and dance works to the activity of the ceremony. religious (Vatsyayan, 1968). Overall, the music group in India called "vaditra" which are grouped into five classes, namely:
  1. Tata (stringed musical instrument),
  2. Begat (stringed musical instrument),
  3. Sushira (brass instruments),
  4. Dhola (drums),
  5. Ghana (percussion instrument).

Other groupings are:
  • Avanaddha vadya, the sound produced by vibration of the skin membrane being hit;
  • Vadya Ghana, the sound produced by vibration of the instrument itself;
  • Sushira vadya, the sound produced by vibration of the air by blowing;
  • Tata vadya, the sound produced by vibration of the strings are plucked or swiped.

Classification can be likened to membranofon (Avanaddha vadya), ideofon (Ghana vadya), aerofon (sushira vadya), kordofon (grammar vadya). Rhythm of music in India called "laya", standardized by using the pattern "tuning" is done with the drums. Rhythm is grouped into: druta (fast), madhya (medium), and vilambita (slow).


1. Membranofon group (Avanaddha vadya)
Membranofon group is gamelan instruments, which sound sources exist on the membranes of skin or other materials. In the Javanese gamelan, this group is a type of drum. In some inscriptions obtained evidence that the instrument membranofon group has been popular in Java since the mid-ninth century AD with the name: padahi, pataha (padaha), murawa or muraba, mrdangga, mrdala, muraja, panawa, Kahala, damaru, drums.

The term "padahi" can be found in the oldest cemetery temple inscription that dates to 821 AD (Goris, 1930). The term continues to be used until the Majapahit era, as can be read on the spin-MPU Nagarakretagama Prapanca 1365 AD (Pigeaud, 1960). It is not impossible that the musical instrument membranofon type is a type of gamelan instruments that existed before the existence of cultural contacts with India, which is used in rituals. This can be compared to musical instruments owned by the primitive tribes in general from membranofon group. In ancient cultures of prehistoric metal (bronze culture) in Indonesia, has known the kind of moko, nekara. Nekara in his day serves as a sort of drum. The author does not agree that nekara dalarn development then becomes a gong.

In India, the instrument type of drum called by various names such as: dundubhi, pataha, mridangga, panava, murawa, mrdala; and has been known since the Vedic period. Dundubhi types mentioned as the "drum beat that if you can hit the enemy" (Vatsyayan, 1968:175). In India, the drum plays an important role in the ceremony and accompanying dance performance as mentioned in the Natya Sastra. Mridangga including as a kind of drum major. Murawa (muraba), mrdala, mrdangga (mridangga) probably originated from the same root word of "MRD" meaning land.

In mythology mentioned that mrdangga or mrdala created by Lord Brahma to accompany the dance of Lord Shiva when it managed to beat the giant Trusurapura (Popley, 1950:123; Haryono, 1986). In the book the term bheri Natya Sastra, bhambha, dindimas, which may also include groups of instruments are drums. The term bheri in Java is now the group is aligned with bendhe ideofon.

In some book of ancient Javanese literature mentions the word adjacent bheri mrdangga, like in the book Wirataparwa: "... prasamanggwal bheri mrdangga, Arok ajimur ikang prang penance-wor ..." (The same bear bheri mrdangga, mixed mingle those who fight each other): "... humung bheri murawa pliers ..." (Huh bheri voice and murawa).

In the book of the Ramayana (X century AD) states: "... tinabih ikang bahiri ring the park ..." (Bheri played in the park). The statement gave the impression that bahiri or bheri still in the group membranofon. Based on the data on the books of literature, or murawa mrdala is a very important instrument in combination with other instruments such as sangkhakala, vina, baribit.

The mention by various names, indicate the presence of various forms of percussion and materials. In art statues, a small drum held by the god called damaru. In the reliefs of Borobudur temple (early 9th century AD) and the Shiva temple at Prambanan (mid-9th century AD) described the various forms of drums (Haryono, 1985; 1986). There is a slender cylindrical drum shape, asymmetrical barrel shape, a conical shape.

On the balustrade of temple of Shiva, the drum is placed under the belly with a kind of rope. In the temples of the younger of the 14th century, reliefs drums can be seen in the temples of the classical period of youth (the period of East Java), such as Temple and Temple Panataran Tegawangi. In the temple reliefs Tegawangi also found someone who took the form of a cylindrical drum with a rope draped on both shoulders. In the Temple Panataran, reliefs drums described only webbed one side and played with a round tipped beater. Jaap Kunst (1968:35-36) calls this musical instrument "dogdog". There is the same mention of drums dalarn Old Javanese written sources with written sources in India proves that cultural contacts between the two included also in the field of performing arts. But Java does not mean that the drum is the influence of Indian drums.

MRD based on the root word, the word mredangga in the inscription may have been drums made of clay. In a development later in Java, said mredangga be Pradangga New in the Java language, which means the gamelan players or musicians. Such changes are also on the word Kansa meaning or kangsa bronze, which then turned into gangsa in Java which means gamelan. Therefore, the suggestion that the word comes from the word gangsan GASA as an abbreviation (acronym) of the said three or copper + + sedasa rejasa, not based on valid research results (Haryono, 2002; 2004:48).

Bronze metallurgical studies on the basis of the elemental composition of materials, also did not prove the existence of three versus composition sedasa (3:10). The results on the elemental composition of the artificial Papringan gamelan (Yogyakarta) = 52.87% Cu: Sn 34.82%: 12.55% Zn; of Bekonang (Surakarta) = Cu 48.80%: 39.88% Sn: Zn 10.86% and from Kauman (Magetan) = 51.00% Cu: Sn 40.26%: 8.39% Zn. Cu is copper, Sn for tin, and Zn for zinc. It is clear that the composition does not show the comparison of 3 (three): 10 (sedasa) such opinion in general (Haryono, 2004:51-52).

Gangsa term which means gamelan has been used in the 12th century AD as found in the book Smaradahana (Canto XXIX: 8): "ginding daityaddhipati ya ta tinabih drums, gongs, gangsa, gubar asahuran ..." means gending rung of the King Giant , drums, gongs, gangsa, and gubar bersahut-replication (Poerbatjaraka, 1951; Sedyawati, 1985:236). The gamelan is now called gangsa is a type of xylophone xylophone made of metal (bronze or brass).

Membranofon other types of instruments is the "drum" and "trebang". The term drum found in the book of Song of the younger malate. Dalam Kakawin Hariwangsa, Ghatotkacasraya, and Song of Harsawijaya, similar instruments are called "tipakan". In addition, there is the term "Tabang-Tabang" in the book and the book Sumanasantaka Ghatotkacasraya, which may later develop into the term "tribang". Quote the following text: "saha damya ginding sri-slanted ballad damyan anameni Tabang Tabang ing" (Gatotkacasraya, 37:7); "Tabang-Tabang ramya karingwangsulan". If this is true, then what we call bedhug trebang or not the emergence of musical instruments after the arrival of Islamic culture but has been around since the 12th century AD (Zoetmulder, 1983: 317-395).

2. Ideofon group (Ghana Vadhya)
Musical instruments of this group is the kind of musical instrument sound sources originating from the "body" instrument itself, and by music experts ranked as the oldest musical instrument when compared with other types (Ferdinandus, 1999). Some of the musical instruments of this type which can be found in inscriptions and literary books, namely tuwung, kangsi, rigang, curing, rojeh, brikuk, stooped, kamanak, xylophone, calung, salunding, barung, ganding, and gongs.

Inscriptions of Central Java period (9th century AD) many calls the term "curing", "tense", "tuwung", "brikuk". Curing and tuwung is a type of cymbal. Curing may be a kind of cymbals are made from metal. Kuti years in an inscription 762 Saka (840 AD) stated: "Mangkana yan pamuja mangungkunga curing ..." (As for if the conduct of worship, so beating the curing). The word "mangungkunga" in Javanese Only now can still be found as the artificial sound of gamelan "ngungkung". Curing this type of gamelan instruments are very popular during the Old Javanese; proved much mentioned in the inscription Determination Sima (the 9th century to the M-12). From these inscriptions can be concluded that the equipment is sounded in the context of ritual gamelan (worship ceremony).

According to Jaap Kunst (1968:52), curing and tuwung is the same kind of musical instrument kicer. Name celuring now exist on the gamelan in Yogyakarta palace and temple Pakualaman. Maybe celuring derived from the word that gets insertions curing "el" to express the plural. If so then the picture of curing on the Old Javanese celuring same as now. Meanwhile, in several books of literary mentioned type of instrument gamelan "rojeh" like in the book Hariwangsa, Kresnayana, Sumanasantaka, Siwaratrikalpa, and the Song Harsawijaya. This gamelan instrument similar cymbals interpreted. Similarly, the term "baribit" called the name of the type of gamelan instruments in the Ramayana.

The name "brikuk" as the name of the gamelan instruments found in the inscription Panggumulan year 902 AD and 919 AD Inscription Lintakan Whereas in the year 943 AD inscription Paradah the term "bent". Dalam gamelan now have the name "tap". The term tap existing at the time referred to in Hariwangsa Kadiri MPU Panuluh work. In the book described the atmosphere of natural beauty when Rukmini and Krishna on a trip that is like a puppet show, accompanied by gamelan: salunding, kituk, and talutak.

The description illustrates that the puppet show as well as the 12th century accompanied by gamelan ensembles are still simple. Could brikuk and is bent like a percussion instrument and kenong pencon now? According to J. Kunst (1968:63), both brikuk nor is any mention of a similar bent to one type of instrument. Maybe once brikuk, stooped, and kituk is a form of gamelan instrument similar. Form of gamelan instruments pencu engraved on the temples of East Java to the 14th century AD and later as Temple Panataran, Sukuh, and Temple Ngrimbi.
Relief berpencu gamelan instruments in the temple Ngrimbi Panataran and perhaps could be called "reyong". This instrument is sounded with a short stick held by the right and left arm.

The order that much in one smart then become "bonang". If the order a bit, each in a lively called "kenong". Written in the source, the term found in Pararaton reyong. Written in the source of the older, the inscription Polengan I, in 870 AD called the term "makajar" which means the player kajar. Kajar is a kind of musical instrument pencu.
Gong is a kind of gamelan instruments are very important also. In the form of relief, the source can be seen in the reliefs of the oldest stories in the Cave Selamangleng Arjunawiwaha, Tulungagung, from the 11th century AD (Bernet Kempers, 1959: 87). Then depicted on the reliefs in the temple Kedaton Bhomantaka story, and Ramayana reliefs at Candi Panataran (14th century AD). This does not mean that the gong was unknown before the 11th century.

In the Old Javanese Ramayana from the 9th century AD has been called "gong" (Poerbatjaraka, 1926: 265-272). In the news of China's Tang dynasty (618-906 AD) stated that "if the king of Poli out of town, he rode a train drawn by elephants and musical accompaniment consisting of gongs, drums and trumpets" (Haryono, 2001). It seems that the gamelan instruments gong named until now remained in the 9th century AD as gamelan instruments whose use is limited in the palace, so that by Kunst said to be "royal instruments" (Kunst, 1968:66). After all, in terms of manufacturing techniques, gong requires more complicated techniques and materials are more expensive, so not every community can have.

The term gong in this case is used to refer to large gong (gong gedhe), while for smaller sizes there may be other terms such as: gubar, bendhe, bheri. The term gong is also used to represent the entire ensemble of gamelan. Javanese people say that if you have a celebration will be held nggantung gong means klenengan. In the book mentioned Bharatayuddha gending, gongs, and gubar in one group. It is interesting that in the Song Wangbang Wideya (from the Kadiri) which contains the story of Panji mentioned types of gongs with the term "gong Bentar Kadatwan", together with the curing of other gamelan and gongs, which sounded to accompany the puppet show (Robson, 1977) . As for "gubar" interpreted as a kind of medium-size gong. Dalam Bharatayuddha, gubar called together with sangkha and saragi, rung by soldiers in battle. In the context of "gubar saragi", meaning saragi term can also mean a kind of gong. In Ternate saragi word means gong (Haryono, 2001:107).

Xylophone mentioned in written sources of the Book of malate, and according to Chinese news during the Song Dynasty (966-1279 AD), said that in the reign of King Jayabhaya of Kadiri Java community has been able to play the flute, drums, and xylophones (xylophone) of wood (Groeneveldt, 1960:17). In sources such as books written Sumanasantaka, Inscription Buwahan the 11th century AD, the inscription will of Temple (12th century AD) is called the term "calung" and the term "galunggang" and "garantung" in other sources. The term "gender" started to be called at the time that is in the Song Wangbang Kadiri Wideya used to accompany the puppet show along with ridip and gongs. Gamelan instruments consisting of the blades (wilahan) which have been assembled on the Borobudur Temple. Reliefs like these can also be seen in the younger temple Panataran Temple. When the xylophone was known, supposed to be kind saron already well known.

Perhaps reliefs carved on Borobudur depict saron, not xylophone. The term "saron" newly discovered dalarn written sources after the 15th century AD (the book Arjunapralabda). Written in the source, there is the term "barung" which is interpreted as the saron (Juynboll, 1923:401). In the book Bharatayuddha, Gahtotkacasraya, and Hariwangsa as well as some of the inscriptions of ancient Bali 12th century AD the term "salunding". Gamelan salunding until now still can be found in Bali. The next gamelan instruments are old enough presence is "kemanak". Dalam kakawin Bharatayuddha, Candidate Charcoal book, mentioned kamanak together with kangsi. Even in the book say that Candidate Charcoal kangsi kamanak and used to accompany sacred dance performed by Candidate Char and his disciples.

3. Aerofon group (Sushira vadya)
Types of instruments belonging to this group is the gamelan sound source is air that is blown. In the Javanese gamelan ensemble now, the flute is the completeness of the gamelan klenengan or cirebonan-cirebonan. In the book of Natya Sastra, flute (flute) is referred to as "vamsa" which means bamboo and is sounded together with the "vino" (Vienna). Pictorial evidence of the existence at the time of the ancient Javanese flute can be seen in the reliefs at Borobudur reliefs Karmawibhangga, Jataka reliefs, and Lalitawistara, and there are also the reliefs at Candi Jago and Panataran Temple.
Based on these reliefs can be distinguished two kinds of flutes, the transverse flute (oblique flute) and longitudinal flutes (vertical). Written in the source, the flute is called in the book of Old Javanese Ramayana with the term "bangsi" and sounded together with the instrument rawandsta. Bangsi said or wangsi very probably derived from the same Sanskrit word "vamsa". In the book The younger the work of MPU Tanakung Writtasancaya flute called a "flute". The Book of Old Javanese Ramayana also mentions the term flute. Similarly in Bali, Pura Batur in the inscription of 1011 AD A brother called flutes. This means that since the 11th century has been distilled into the completeness of the gamelan.

In addition to the flute in written sources as well as reliefs are wind instruments, the trumpet is called a "sangkha". Sangkha are sea shells and the wind instruments have long been used in India. In Hindu iconography, sangkha is an attribute of Vishnu, Krishna. Ramayana in relief in the temple of Brahma (Prambanan), sangkha blown to awaken Kumbhakarna (brother of Ravana) who slept. Dalam Nagarakretagama mentioned "gumang Kahala padaha Ganjuran Ian thought ...." (Kahala thought and sound thunderous drums, Ganjuran) (Canto 65:1). In the Ramayana, thought called "kalasangkha"; and in Wirataparwa book called "sangkhakahala" (Kunst, 1968). The term "Kahala thought" and "sangkha Kahala" is now a "trumpet", while "Ganjuran" as perhaps a kind of gamelan instruments in a drum (?). The term gamelan Kala Ganjur now comes from the word "Kahala" and "Ganjur", a term that has existed since the time of Majapahit. Another type of trumpet is "pereret" as referred to in the Song Rangga Lawe.

4. Kordofon group (Tata vadya)
Gamelan instruments are included in this group in Javanese gamelan is now referred to as a zither, zither, and rebab. The term "plop" was first found in written sources Cekelwanengpati Tale. Reliefs at Candi Jago on the picture depicted someone who was playing the zither. In the Song Wangbang Wideya called gamelan instruments "samepa" and the gamelan was interpreted as a "fiddle" (Kunst, 1968). Meanwhile, "kachapi" is mentioned in the Song Hausa Wijaya together with other gamelan namely: gongs, ridip, and ginding.

Old Javanese inscriptions mention the term "Vienna", "rawanahasta", and "panday rawanahasta". Rawanahasta word meaning "hand rawana" and "panday rawanahasta" means "artisan made rawanahasta". Rawanahasta interpreted as a kind of lute berdawal gamelan instrument shaped like a hand (Kunst, 1968; Sarkar, 1972). The Book of Old Javanese Ramayana mentions: "makinara" and "malawuwina". Vienna Lawuwina means shaped like a pumpkin. Harp seems to have been used in the past as seen in the reliefs at Borobudur and the baths Jalatunda (East Java). Similarly there are some metal statues found in Nganjuk and Suracala (Yogyakarta), which describes the goddess holding a stringed musical instrument.

Excerpted from the writings of Prof.. Dr. Haryono arise, M.Sc. (KRA Haryono Sultanate), Javanese culture, Professor of the Science of Archaeology at the Faculty of Humanities University of Gadjah Mada. Members of the Board of Experts Institute for the Study of Java Sekar Jagad; published in the magazine edition of 2007 Sasmita.

1 comment:

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