Yale University Javanese Gamelan Ensemble
Gamelan Suprabanggo

Gamelan Suprabanggo Presents
An Evening of Javanese Gamelan Music
7 December 2009, Calhoun Cabaret

Gendhing RANDHAT kethuk 4 kerep minggah Ladrang KANDAMANYURA,
Slendro Pathet Manyura

RANDHAT is piece from the older repertory of the shadow puppet theatre or wayang kulit. The pace is slow and leisurely. The inggah, or second section, is lively with a beautiful choral melody. The main melody of a piece for Javanese gamelan is played on metallophones called saron. The melody is called the balungan or skeleton. On most of these saron instruments there are 7 tuned slabs. In the slendro scale, these slabs are tuned to the following pitches moving from low to high: 6, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 1. The slendro scale is pentatonic and divides the octave into five intervals. On our instruments, most people hear larger gaps between pitches 3 and 5 and between pitches 6 and 1. See if you hear the intervals in this way. Other Javanese gamelan, around the world and in Java, have the larger gaps falling between different pitches, often between 2 and 3. There is no standardized tuning. Ensemble tuning is valued as an art practiced by gong smiths.

Ladrang SRI SUNUBA kalajengaken Ayak-ayakan KEMUDA, Pelog Pathet Nem

This piece is in the pelog scale. The pelog saron also have seven slabs but they are numbered consecutively from 1 to 7. In this piece we will use all notes except 7. This is one of the characteristics of pieces in pelog pathet, or mode, nem. The piece ends with a faster moving form called ayak-ayakan. Notice that the gong strokes occur more frequently than in they did Gendhing Randhat. This ayak-ayakan is often used to accompany dance. A dancer would time his or her large, emphatic, movements to coincide with the gong strokes.

Ladrang PANGKUR kalajengaken Ayak-ayakan lan Srepegan,
Slendro Pathet Sanga

With this piece we return to the slendro scale. For the first time in the concert we will use imbalan an interlocking style of performance on the bonang (the flat racks with multiple horizontal gongs). We will course through several different movements, some of which use imbalan and some of which do not. At the end of Ladrang PANGKUR we move into another ayak-ayakan and then srepegan sanga, each marked by increasingly short gong cycles. These pieces can be used to accompany dance or the vigorous movement of battles and scenes of increased dramatic tension in wayang kulit.

Ladrang ASMARADANA Molak-Malik, Slendro Manyura and Pelog Barang

Asmaradana is a poetic meter with a particular pattern of line-ending vowels and syllable counts per line. All of the texts sung by the chorus in this piece are in the asmaradana verse form. We will be changing scales in the middle of this piece, thus the molak-malik in the title of the selection. This term is derived from the Javanese word balik which means to go back. This surprising sonic shift will allow you to hear the same piece in two scales and to experience the differences between them. We will change scales the second time we get to gong (6) in the second section of the piece. The change site is marked by an * in the notation below, where the melody is notated first in slendro (on the left) and then in pelog (on the right). When we shift scales, you can move to the pelog notation at the beginning of the second section in on the right. Gamelan Suprabanggo is tuned so that pitch 6 is the same in each scale.

Ladrang Asmaradana in Slendro

2126 2123)
5321 3231)
6321 3216)
5321 312(6)

2321 3216 2321 6123)
6132 6321 3532 5321)
6612 6321 3532 3126)
5353 1621 3532 312(6) *
Ladrang Asmaradana in Pelog

2726 2723)
5327 3237)
6327 3276)
5327 327(6)

*2327 3276 2327 6723)
6732 6327 3532 5327)
6672 6327 3532 3756)
5353 7627 3532 375(6)

2009 Gamelan Suprabanggo is:

Anderson Alden
Jennifer Chu
Sam Day-Weiss
Ryan Harper
Rex Isenberg
Jean-Luc Mosley
Benjamin Shirley

Kathryn Alexander
Linnea Clark
Nicholas Frankel
Mindy Heinsohn
Kelly Kim
Ève Poudrier
John Swisher

Julian Berro
John Corkill
Zachary Fuhrer
Lauren Holmes
Juraj Kojs
Ian Rosenbaum
Sarah Weiss
Yong Cho
Tony Day
John Greenawalt
Jessica Hsieh
Nathaniel Mattison
Molly Rubenstein
Connor Youngblood
Department of Music  |  Council on Southeast Asia Studies  |  Yale University Home