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Conserving Traditional Musical Instruments Gong And Gamelan

By Trisna Putri Kusumawati in Culture

Nov 17, 2022

Gong and Gamelan are musical instruments that are well-known in The Asian region and have been around for hundreds of years.

In Indonesia, Gong and Gamelan are historical traditional musical instruments and are still used today for various important events. Gong and Gamelan are considered sacred musical instruments or heirlooms, so their use cannot be arbitrary. In addition to Yogyakarta, this musical instrument is also spread in various parts of Indonesia, such as Bali and Sumatra. Although it looks simple, how to play this musical instrument can’t be beaten arbitrarily to produce a rhythmic tone with a melodious character, several techniques must be learned to be able to play the gong and gamelan musical instruments. During the learning process, this can be the attraction of the natives or foreign countries to be able to produce a rhythmic tone when played.

Gong musical instruments are actually not native to Indonesia, but Gamelan is a traditional musical instrument native to Indonesia. Gamelan consists of several types of musical instruments, such as Bonang, Saron, Gambang, Demung, Gender and many others. Gamelan has different uses of musical instruments that are needed depending on their needs or adjustments to the event being held, there are Puppet Gamelan (Gamelan Wayang), Sekaten Gamelan which is used in celebrations once a year, Gadhon Gamelan which is used for certain celebrations such as weddings and so on.

In this article, Dolanesia will invite you to take a trip to Yogyakarta to explore the process of making Gong and Gamelan in one of the professional manufacturers in the field of this musical instrument which is well known to several countries, namely Panji Gong Agung.

Panji Gong Agung is located in Wirun Village, Mojolaban District, Sukoharjo Regency, Central Java. Wirun village is known as a village of gong and gamelan musical instrument craftsmen, which was initially pioneered by Reso Wiguno in the 1950s and after he died his students established their respective gong and gamelan musical instrument houses and currently one of the gamelan craftsmen is named Sanjoyo who as the owner of Panji Gong Agung whose work has succeeded in penetrating the international market. Making this musical instrument takes up to months with workers as many as a dozen to tens of people and can be priced at hundreds of millions depending on how difficult the tools are, the availability of raw materials and how many musical instruments are needed.

The manufacturing process also consists of selecting raw materials in the form of tin and copper, which will then be made into a metal according to the required size, the smelting process, the forging or forming process that must be carried out in detail and carefully during the beating process on hot metal until it can neatly formed, the finishing process, the process of adjusting the tone and in this process cannot be done by just anyone, it must be done by people who have years of experience to decades so that the tone can be properly aligned because it requires the right placement of tools and high sensitivity on the resulting rhythmic sound and the last is the grinding process after which the musical instrument can be used. In the process of making this musical instrument, it is also necessary to perform rituals for certain needs.

So, are you interested and challenged to be able to master the game of this traditional music which is not easy to produce melodious tones?