West Java’s Most Popular Musical Instruments

When compared to music from other places, West Java regional musical instruments have their own distinct features. Modern musical instruments, such as guitars, pianos, violins, and so on, may be more familiar to us now. Traditional musical instruments existed prior to the development of many contemporary musical instruments.

Traditional customs, especially regional musical instruments, are increasingly being abandoned. However, many young people are actively involved in the preservation of old West Javan tools like angklung and distillation. Both musical instruments are frequently shown in traditional settings.

In fact, there are a plethora of different regional musical instruments that should be proudly displayed and maintained so that our children and grandchildren can learn about them in the future. That is why, in the next essay, we will look at the most popular traditional musical instruments from West Java.

Copper-based Rebab

This musical instrument from West Java has been around since the 9th century AD and is still in use today. Middle Eastern traders brought rebabs into Indonesia while sailing. Three strings or strings serve as sound producers on a copper musical instrument.

With the passage of time, the fundamental material for creating rebabs changed from copper to wood, and now numerous rebabs are found in the shape of an arrow. It is played by swiping the strings, similar to how a modern musical instrument, such as the violin, is played.

Bamboo-based musical instruments that have been distilled

Then there’s the distilled, which is the most popular musical instrument in West Java. Blowing into the accessible holes on bamboo or wood musical instruments is how they are performed. There are holes to establish the tone in addition to inflatable holes, and the number of holes varies from 4 to 8.

The number of holes is determined by the requirements of the music to be performed. According to popular Sundanese lyrics, most West Java distilled spirits have four holes. The availability of distillation is crucial as a musical instrument since it may supply melodies to song singing, resulting in a highly rich traditional tone.

Karinding is one of a kind.

The karinding is a traditional West Java musical instrument that is also quite popular. To play this unusual musical instrument, it must be put on the lips. Then, using your grip and fingertips to pat the beater, you may create a sound resonance.

Although there is karinding from palm tree fronds, bamboo is frequently utilized as a currymaking material. Men usually eat karinding made from palm trees, while ladies eat bamboo curry. In the past, karinding was employed not only as a musical instrument, but also as a rice-field midge.

Musical Instruments Calung

Most people confuse calung with other traditional West Java musical instruments, such as angklung, since they appear to be identical at first appearance. Calung is made of awi wulung bamboo, commonly known as black bamboo, however there are also calung made of ater bamboo.

The kind of calungnya, tote calung or calung rantay, determines how this beat musical instrument is performed. Only the right hand is used to play tote touting, while the left hand is used to handle the calung. Calung rantay is performed by striking him with both hands. To ease hand mobility, the player must sit cross-legged.

Angklung Multitonal and Double-Pitched

Even if you’re not from West Java, you’re probably familiar with this traditional tool because it’s frequently shown as one of the island’s most popular traditional musical instruments. Bamboo tools are also referred to as multitonal or double-pitched.

It also appears to be simple to perform, particularly simply shaking the musical instrument. Depending on the angklung employed, the collision of the bamboo body becomes a source of music, generating various tones. The angklung is classified as an idiophone musical instrument because the entire vibration of the instrument may generate sound.

Tarawangsa Identical to Rebab

Although tarawangsa and rebabs appear to be identical in appearance, there is only a two-piece variation in the number of tarwangsa strings. Unlike the rebab, which has three strings, the two musical instruments from West Java may be distinguished more simply and fast.

You can only play one string by swiping it, despite the fact that you have two strings. Meanwhile, the remaining strings are played by plucking them with the left hand’s index finger. Tarawangsa is frequently combined with other instruments, such as the Jentreng, to create a lovely tone or tune.

Traditional Musical Instruments, Lute

The lute is another notable West Java regional musical instrument. The inclusion of a lute as a musical instrument accompaniment is highly essential in Sundanese tembang. When accompanying traditional Sundanese music, this is connected to two functions of the lute, namely the parent lute and the child’s lute, thus it’s vital to learn to know the lute.

The parent lute is in charge of setting the tempo and beginning the melody, and it generally comprises 18-20 strings.
Unlike children’s lutes, which are used to accompany high-frequency music. The amount of strings is 15 pieces fewer than the parent lute’s number of strings.

Traditional Arumba Musical Instruments

Arumba is another West Javan musical instrument that we should master. Some individuals, especially those living outside of West Java, may still be unfamiliar with the name of this traditional musical instrument. Arumba is a musical instrument that is part of an ensemble, which is a group of musicians that play together.

Quality bamboo, such as black bamboo (wulung), bamboo rope, or bamboo awi temen, is used to make this musical instrument. Despite the fact that arumba is a mix of numerous musical instruments, it has evolved into a musical and its own genre of music that we are familiar with from some old West Java songs.

Jenglong as a Sound Producer

Jenglong is another West Java musical instrument that should not be overlooked. Jenglong is a vital part of performing traditional West Java music because it serves as a fundamental song structure or sound creator. Even yet, many of us in our part of West Java are unfamiliar with musical instruments.

Jenglong is whacked with special hitters to make noises or sounds. To generate the correct sound, the beater employed in this musical instrument is composed of unique materials. This beater usually includes a coating to make it more soft, whether it’s made of wool or knitted thread.

Logpool made of bamboo leather

Finally, we’ll learn about the celempung, a traditional bamboo leather tool. Resonance in the bamboo stick section is used to create the sound. Because each rod must have a particular form and size, making this ancient musical instrument is difficult.

Celempung features two strings, one for pelog tones and the other for slendro tones, thus they may be used for siteran again. In addition to the celempung, siter is still utilized in gamelan siteran instruments as a distinguishing trait.

Many traditional musical instruments from West Java may still be found, each with its own distinct sound. Most traditional musical instruments are composed of natural materials, such as wood or bamboo, giving them a very authentic feel. So, don’t stop learning about the traditional musical instruments of West Java.

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