The Kraton Gamelan

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Gamelan is the music that is produced by sets of largely bronze or copper percussion instrument. The melody itself is called gending. 

Gamelan instruments are permanently tuned to either of two tone systems: the pentatonic laras slendro, and the septatonic laras pelog, the first being probably much older than the second.
The origins of gamelan are not known with certainly. Some scholars suggest it may have evolved from the bronze kettle drums which the Indonesian ancestors brought with them from the Southeast Asian mainland many centuries before the dawn of the Christian Era. Other believe gamelan might have originated in northern India, although there appears to be little evidence to support this theory.
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Two of the oldest gamelan sets known to exist is kept in the kraton of Yogyakarta. One is called Kanjeng Kyai Guntur Laut, and is said to be a legacy of the Majapahit kingdom. The other is Kanjeng Kyai Guntur Malik, which presumably came from Demak, and is played only once a year: during the fasting month of Ramadhan at the Grand Mosque.
Other old gamelan sets belonging the kraton are: Kanjeng Kyai Mahesaganggang, Laras pelog, part of whose instruments were brought from Surakarta. The set is used to luster up such occasions as the sultan’s birthday, Gerebeg ceremonies, circumcisions, and in the past fights between tigers and buffaloes, which were staged at the Alun-alun Lor.
Kanjeng Kyai Nagawilaga, laras pelog, made in Yogya in 1682 (of the Javanese calendar), and sounded during weddings or circumcisions.
Kanjeng Kyai Kancil Belik, laras pelog, made before the installation of the late Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX, and played for diversion and during weddings and circumcisions.
Among the other venerated sets bearing the title Kanjeng Kyai are Guntur Sari, Kedarsih, Mangunsih, Marikangen, Premoro, Panji, Pusporono, Pusponadi, Hardjonagoro, Rijo, Tumenggung Hardjomuljo, Pamitkasih, Mangunkung, Madukentir, Siratmadu, Madumurti and Madukusomo.


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