Popular West Java Regional Musical Instruments
West Java local musical instruments have their own characteristics when compared to musical instruments from other regions. Nowadays, we are more familiar with modern musical instruments such as guitar, piano, and violin. But before the emergence of these various modern musical instruments, traditional musical instruments already existed.
More and more traditional cultures, including local musical instruments, are being abandoned. However, there are still many younger generations participating in preserving traditional instruments from West Java, such as the anglang and the flute. Both musical instruments are often presented as traditional musical instruments.
In fact, there are many other local musical instruments that our children and grandchildren need to be proud of and protected in such a way that they can get to know this instrument later on. That’s why we review the most popular traditional musical instruments from West Java in the article below.
Reebabs made of copper
This musical instrument from West Java has existed since the 9th century AD and still exists today. During the voyage, Middle Eastern merchants brought reebabs to Indonesia. This musical instrument made of copper has 3 strings or strings as a sound producer.
Over time, there has been a change in the basic materials for making rebabs that were originally made of copper, and now there are several rebabs made of wood with a shape similar to a crossbow. The way to play it is to swipe the strings as if you were playing a modern musical instrument called the violin.
Flute musical instruments made of bamboo
Next up is the most popular Western Javanese musical instrument known as the flute . Made of bamboo or wood, this musical instrument is played by blowing the available holes. In addition to the inflatable holes, there are also holes to adjust the tone in such a way that the number of holes varies from 4 to 8.
The number of holes is adjusted according to the requirements of the song to be played. Most Western Javanese flutes have 4 holes according to Suntanese songs, which are often played. The existence of the flute is very important as a musical instrument because it can provide melodies for singing songs, so that traditional notes are heard to be very thick.
A common Western Javanese musical instrument that is not popular is karinding. This unique musical instrument should be placed on the lips to play. Then, you can pat the bat to create a sound resonance from the friction of the handle and from the fingertips that tap on the instrument.
Bamboo is often used as a material for making karinding, although there is carinding from the frogs of date palms. Typically, granite from date palms is used for men, while granite from bamboo is used for women. In the past, carinding was used not only as a musical instrument, but also as a midge in paddy fields.
Kalung musical instruments
Most people can’t distinguish between kalung and another traditional Western Javanese musical instrument , the angclung, because it looks the same at first glance. Kalung is made of avi wulung type of bamboo or black bamboo, and there is another type of bamboo and kalung made with attar bamboo.
This device is played according to the type of culvert, whether it is a jinjing kalung or a rante kalung. The carry-on kalung is played only with the right hand, while the left hand should hold the leg. Kalung Rantay played with him with both hands. The way the player sits should be cross-leg to facilitate the movement of the arms.
Multitonal, double pitched angclung
Even if you’re not a Western Javanese, of course you already know this traditional instrument because it’s often exhibited as one of the popular traditional musical instruments from West Java. Made of bamboo, this tool is also known as multitunal or double-pitched.
How it can be played also seems to be easier, i.e., by shaking the instrument. The impact of the bamboo body becomes the source of sound production with different tones, according to the anglang used. Since the overall vibration of the musical instrument can produce sound, the angclung is classified as an idiophone device.
Tarawangsa is similar to Rebab
Visually, perhaps tarawangsa has similarities with rebab, but the difference is that the number of tarwangsa strings is only two pieces. Unlike the ribab with three strings, you can already distinguish two musical instruments from West Java more easily and quickly .
Even if you have two strings, you can only play one string by swiping it. At the same time, the other strings are played by plucking with the index finger of the left hand. Tarawangsa is often played using other musical instruments such as gentreng to produce such beautiful notes or melodies.
Traditional musical instruments, lute
Harp is another interesting Western Javanese folk musical instrument. In the Suntanese Tembang, the presence of lute as a supplementary instrument is very important. It is associated with two functions of the harp, namely the mother’s harp and the child’s harp with traditional Sundanese music, so it is important to know the harp.
The parent harp has the task of determining the tempo, the music begins, and the harp used usually has 18-20 strings. In contrast to the child’s lyre, which serves as an escort to high-frequency music. The number of strings there is less, which is 15 pieces compared to the number of strings for the parent lyre.
Arumba traditional musical instruments
Arumba is another musical instrument that we need to learn from West Java. For some people, they may still be unfamiliar with the name of this traditional musical instrument, especially for people outside of West Java. Arumba belongs to the troupe or a combination of several musical instruments at the same time.
This musical instrument is made of quality bamboo, for example black bamboo (wulung), bamboo rope or bamboo avi temen. Although it’s a combination of many musical instruments, Arumba eventually turns out to be a piece of music we know from some traditional West Java songs and a particular type of music.
Zhenglong as a basic sound producer
The Genglong is another Western Javanese musical instrument that should not be missed. Since its role in playing traditional West Javanese music is so important, Zhenglong acts as a song framework or basic sound producer. However, this musical instrument from the West Java region is not familiar to many of us.
A special bat is used to hit Zhenglong to produce a sound or sound. The beater used in this musical instrument is made of a special material to produce the right sound. Typically, these batsmen, be it from wool or woven yarn, have an upholstery to make them more softer.
Selimpung of bamboo skin
Finally, let’s get acquainted with selempung, a traditional tool made of bamboo skin. Sound is produced using the resonance of the bamboo stick segments. That’s why it’s not easy to make this traditional musical instrument, because each rod must have a different shape and size of internodes.
Selemung has two strings with different functions, namely strings for pelog tones and strings for slendro tones, so they can use longer citran. In addition to selempung, the sitter is often used as a feature that is still preserved today in gamelan cyterrane devices.
There are still many traditional musical instruments that you can find from West Java with your own uniqueness. Most traditional musical instruments are made of nature, whether it’s wood or bamboo, so the traditional impression it displays is very noticeable. Therefore, don’t stop to know the usual Western Javanese musical instruments.