Balinese Powerful Traditional Music

Feeling the Balinese Powerful & Energetic Traditional Music of Jegog

Bali has many unique cultures like traditional music instrument. The traditional music instrument is very important for Balinese people when they conduct a ceremony. Bali has many traditional music instruments. Gambelan Jegog is one of them.

Gambelan Jegog Information

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Jegog was come from Jembrana regency, the western part of Bali. The gamelan jegog is one of the most impressive sounding ensembles in the world. One ‘orchestra’ is composed of fourteen bamboo xylophones. It is an orchestra of bamboo marimbas, with keys (tubes) ranging from small to gigantic. The largest tubes, up to three meters long with walls 3cm dense, and a diameter of 20cm, are used for the bass jegog, for which the ensemble is named.

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The ensemble was created in the early twentieth century in Jembrana, where bamboo of such dimensions grows. The jegog orchestra is the world’s only bamboo percussion with a four-tone scale. The four tones signify the four directions of north, south, east and west; in Bali’s own Bali-Hindu religion each direction houses its own god, and in the centre of all is the highest god, Shiva. The instruments’ logic and sound derive very strongly from the Bali-Hindu cosmology and philosophy, and this special connection makes them all the more unique in the world of gamelan.

Energetic and powerful Music

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The music of the gamelan jegog is energetic and powerful. Part of the energy derives from the sheer physical strength needed to play the heavy instruments. The lowest pitched jegog is so large that its two players must squat on a plank above the tubes; they often use both hands to wield the heavy rubber mallets. But another source of this energy certainly derives from its most popular performance tradition, jegog mabarung, a battle-of-the-bands competition between two groups. In this charged atmosphere, speed, precision, exuberance and power are winning traits.
A full gamelan jegog consists of the following percussion instruments, each with eight bamboo tubes:

* Three barangan, seated in front play the main melody. The middle barangan, which leads the ensemble, plays a decorated version on the beat. The outer players play off the beat.
* Three kantilan and, an octave higher, three suir, all playing interlocking figuration.
* Two undir and, an octave higher, two celuluk, playing the bun (melody). Players alternate between right and left hands playing paired slightly detuned pitches.
* One jegog, an octave lower than undir, with two players executing the bun also playing paired detuned pitches.
Suling (bamboo flutes) often embellish the bun. On occasion, usually when accompanying dance, there might also be kendang (drums), ceng-ceng (cymbals) and tawa-tawa (a beat-keeping small gong) .

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