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Indonesia Music Instruments

Written By Rio Gonzales on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Indonesia Music
The music of Indonesia demonstrates its cultural diversity, nearly every one of the 17,508 islands having its own cultural and artistic history and character. This results in hundreds of different forms of music, which often accompanies dance and theater. The musics of Java, Sumatra, Bali, Flores and other islands have been documented and recorded, and research by Indonesian and international scholars is ongoing.
Tembang sunda
Tembang sunda, also called seni mamaos cianjuran, or just cianjuran, is a form of sung poetry which arose in the colonial-era kabupaten of Cianjur. It was first known as an aristocratic art; one cianjuran composer was R.A.A. Kusumahningrat (Dalem Pancaniti), ruler of Cianjur (1834 – 1862). The instruments of Cianjuran are kacapi Indung, kacapi rincik and suling or bamboo flute, and rebab for salendro compositions. The lyrics are typically sung in free verse, but a more modern version, panambih, is metrical. It is usually the drums.

Kecapi suling
Kecapi suling is a type of instrumental music that is highly improvisational and popular in parts of Java. It is related to tembang sunda.
Gamelan
The most popular and famous form of Indonesian music is gamelan, an ensemble of tuned percussion instruments that include metallophone drums, gongs and spike fiddles along with bamboo flutes. Similar ensembles are prevalent throughout Indonesia and Malaysia, but gamelan is from Java, Bali, India and Lombok. There are rivalries between different regions’ variations of gamelan, especially Java and Bali.
Central Java
Gamelan is intricate and meticulously laid out. The central melody is played on a metallophone in the center of the orchestra, while the front elaboration and ornamentation on the melody, and, at the back, the gongs slowly punctuate the music. There are two tuning systems. Each Gamelan is tuned to itself, and the intervals between notes on the scale vary between ensembles.
The metallophones cover four octaves, and include types like the slenthem, demung, saron panerus and balungan. The soul of the gamelan is believed to reside in the large gong, or gong ageng. Other gongs are tuned to each note of the scale and include ketuk, kenong and kempul. The front section of the orchestra is diverse, and includes rebab, suling, siter, bonang and gambang. Male choruses (gerong) and female (pesindhen) solo vocalists are common.
History
Gamelan is rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism, though the island of Java is almost entirely Muslim today. Islam arrived in the 15th century, filtered through Hindustani Indians. With the arrival of the Dutch colonizers, a number system called kepatihan was developed to record the music. Music and dance at the time was divided into several styles based on the main courts in the area — Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Pakualaman and Mangkunagaran. It is a universal acknowledgment that gamelans are highly honoured citizens.
West Java
West Java, formerly Sunda, has a diverse brand of gamelan. Gamelan Degung, gamelan salendro and tembang sunda are three primary types.
East Java
Gamelan from eastern Java is less well-known than central or western parts of the island. Perhaps most distinctive of the area is the extremely large gamyak drum.
Osinger
The Osinger minority in Java are known for social music for weddings and other celebrations, called gandrung, as well as angklung, played by young amateur boylets , which is very similar to Balinese gamelan.
Folk music
Indonesian folk is quite diverse, embracing rock, house, Indonesian hip hop and other genres, as well as distinctly Indonesian forms. There are several kinds of “ethnic” pop music, generally grouped together as Pop Daerah (regional pop). These include Pop Sunda, Pop Minang, Pop Batak, and others. The regional pop musics mostly use local languages and a mix of western and regional style music and instruments. Indonesian Pop music is extremely popular in neighbouring countries, especially Malaysia.
Kroncong
Kroncong (alternative spelling: Keroncong) has been evolving since the arrival of the Portuguese, who brought with them European instruments. By the early 1900s, it was considered a low-class urban music. This changed in the 1930s, when the rising Indonesian film industry began incorporating kroncong, and then even more so in the mid- to late 1940s, when it became associated with the struggle for independence.
Perhaps the most famous song in the kroncong style is Bengawan Solo, written in 1940 by Gesang Martohartono, a Solonese musician. Written during the Japanese Imperial Army occupation of the island in World War II, the song (about the Bengawan Solo River, Java’s longest and most important river) became widely popular among the Javanese, and then later nationally when recordings were broadcast over the local radio stations. The song also became quite popular with the Japanese soldiers, and when they returned to Japan at the end of the war re-recordings of it (by Japanese artists) became best-sellers. Over the years it has been re-released many times by notable artists, mainly within Asia but also beyond (like Anneke Grönloh), and in some places it is seen as typifying Indonesian music.
Gesang himself remains the most renowned exponent of the style, which although it is seen now as a somewhat starchy and “dated” form is still popular among large segments of the population, particularly the older generation.
Langgam Jawa
There is a style of kroncong native to Surakarta (Solo) called langgam jawa, which fuses kroncong with the gamelan seven-note scale.
Tembang Jawa
Similar in style is tembang jawa. Perhaps its greatest current star is Didi Kempot.
Gambang Kromong
Early in the 20th century, kroncong was used in a type of theater called komedi stanbul; adapted for this purpose, the music was called gambang kromong.
Campursari
A musical fusion style of Traditional Indonesian music & Dangdut that prevalent in Java.
Dangdut
Dangdut is a form of dance music that has been popular since the mid-1970s. Dangdut is based around the singers, and stars include Rhoma Irama and Elvy Sukaesih (the King and Queen of Dangdut), along with Inul Daratista, Evie Tamala, Mansyur S., A. Rafiq, and Fahmy Shahab. It is also popular in Malaysia as the symbol of Malay race (not Malay ethnic).
Jaipongan
Jaipongan is a very complex rhythmic dance music from the Sundanese people of western Java. The rhythm is liable to change seemingly randomly, making dancing difficult for most listeners. Its instruments are entirely Sundanese, completely without imported instruments from the West, China, Japan or elsewhere. It was invented by artists like Gugum Gumbira after Sukarno prohibited rock and roll and other western genres.
Qasidah modern
Qasidah is an ancient Arabic word for religious poetry accompanied by chanting and percussion. Qasidah modern adapts this for pop audiences.
Gambus
Gambus literally means oud, referring to a type of lute. It is used to denote a type of orchestra and the music it plays, believed to be introduced by Muslim settlers from Yemen. Though popular among Arabs in Indonesia, it has gained little popularity elsewhere.
Tapanuli ogong
From Tapanuli, tapanuli ogong is a form of dance music played with a type of lute, trumpet and flute.
Indonesian music legends
From Gesang, Koes Bersaudara/Koes Plus (Indonesian #1 Legend), Dara Puspita, Alfian, Titiek Puspa, Guruh Gypsi, Gombloh and Lemontrees, Bing Slamet, Benyamin S, Godbless, Chrisye, DARSO (Calung X), Harry Roesli (50′s-70′s) till Fariz RM, Iwan Fals,and many more. There is also The Tielman Brothers who originally from Indonesia but they gained popularity in Europe, especially Netherlands.

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