Java is the most populous island in Indonesia. On the island of Java there are various provinces such as West Java, East Java, Central Java, Banten, DKI Jakarta, and D.I. Yogyakarta.
Each of these provinces has its own culture even though there are similarities between them. One form of culture can be seen through its traditional musical instrument . In this article, we will discuss 10,9007 traditional Javanese musical instruments and their explanations.
Culture should be preserved and maintained so that it is not eroded by the times. One way is to know and understand the use of traditional musical instruments. For those of you who want to get to know the types of traditional Javanese musical instruments, you should listen to the explanation below.
10 Javanese Musical Instruments and How to Play them
Below are 10 Javanese musical instruments you need to know.
Saron or ricik is one of the Javanese musical instruments included in the Balungan family and consists of several pitched metal blades. Usually, in a Javanese gamelan set there are 2 pairs of sarons, namely Laras pelog and slendro. The bat is made of wood carved into a hammer shape. Slow speed and hard weakening of saron depends on the drum and the type of gendhing.
The way to play it is to hit the tone blades with a hammer-shaped bat. Usually, the tone produced by saron has a higher octave than a musical instrument and produces a harmony in Javanese gamelan.
Bonang or a Balinese musical instrument is a traditional Javanese musical instrument which is played by being hit with a special bat which has been coated with rubber or cloth. This instrument is made of bronze, brass and iron. This instrument developed in Central Java, West Java and East Java.
In the Javanese gamelan, the bonang musical instrument is divided into two, namely Bonang Barung and Bonang successor. Bonang Barung has a medium size, middle to high octave, and is one of the leading instruments in the ensemble.
Whereas, Bonang successor is the smallest bonang, high-octane, has twice the speed of bonang barung. Although it can anticipate balungan tones, but bonang panerus is not used as a guiding song because of the speed and height of the tone it produces.
Kenong is a traditional traditional musical instrument in Central Java that functions as a determinant of the gatra boundary as well as an amplifier and tone reinforcement in the gamelan.
The way to play is by hitting it using a ] whose ends are usually coated with rubber cloth. The shape of the kenong is almost the same as the shape of the bonang but the size of the kenong is larger. Usually there are 10 kenongs in a set.
4. Gendang or Kendang
Drum or drum is a traditional musical instrument typical of East Java or West Java which is played by beating using fingers or palms with certain rhythms or beats. Drum function is as a rhythm regulator. Drum is usually made of jackfruit wood or cempedak wood.
The high and low sound produced by the drum depends on the tight or weak bond of the rattan rope that binds the drum skin. There are several types of drums, namely small ones called ketipung, which are large called ciblon / kebar drums, and medium-sized drums called gedhe or kendang kalih.
Demung is a Javanese traditional musical instrument included in the Balungan family. The tone produced is lower than that of saron because Demung has a region that is relatively thinner and wider than the area of saron.
The way to play it is to hit the wilahan / sheet logan with percussion using the right hand, while the left hand presses (squeeze) wilahan beaten in order to eliminate the buzz that remains from the previous pitching. The technique is known as memathet where the basic word is pather which means push.
There are two types of demung that are often used, demung pelog and demung slendro. Both produce different sounds.
Gong is a traditional Javanese musical instrument that is played by changing it and then hitting the protruding part. Gong is shaped and large like a cooking pot made of brass metal mixture. Usually, the gong is played at the end of the song. Besides being spoken at the end, the gong is also often used as an opening sign for an event or activity.
Besides being an opening and ending marker of an event, the gong is also used as a sign of the inauguration of a building or welcoming of the president or other important people. On Java, the gong must not be beaten (sounded) at the ceremony of one's death.
Flute is a traditional Javanese musical instrument which is played by blowing on the edges and made of bamboo wuluh which is made of holes to determine the tone or barrel. The end of the flute (which is blown) is called "jambangan".
With the hole in the flute it will cause streaks by the flow of wind / air to produce a tone or sound. In the gamelan, the flute is used as the Pangrengga song. The tone produced by the flute is smooth and soft.
Angklung is a traditional West Javanese musical instrument popularized by Sundanese in Indonesia. Angklung is usually made of bamboo. The way to play it is by shaking or vibrating where the sound produced comes from the collision of the bamboo pipe body.
Arumba is a typical Javanese musical ensemble consisting of various musical instruments made of bamboo. The word "arumba" stands for the strains of a bamboo clump. Arumba appeared around the 1960s in West Java, Indonesia, which is why Arumba was known as a typical West Javanese musical instrument.
Slenthem is a traditional Javanese traditional musical instrument consisting of wide thin metal sheets strung using a rope then stretched over a tube and produces a low hum or echo that follows the saron tone, balungan, and ricik if beaten.
How to play it is by hitting it which will produce a low hum or echoes that follow the tone of saron, ricik and balungan. As with other gamelan instruments, Slenthem has a selendro and pelong version. Where the slenthem slendro is in the range of notes C E  G A C . Meanwhile, the slenthem pelog with a range of tones from C to .
Well, hopefully the discussion about 10 Javanese musical instruments and their explanations as explained above helpful. Thank you!
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