Get to Know Indonesian Traditional Music with UM iCamp 2019

On the second day in Peniwen village (it was the sixth day of UM iCamp 2019 as well), there was a gamelan workshop held to teach how to play gamelan the UM iCamp 2019 participants in Sanggar Gubug Wayang (a hall of art), Peniwen village, Kromengan sub-district, Malang Regency. Gamelan is a set of traditional music instruments originally from Indonesia. The UM iCamp 2019 participants got the opportunity to learn how to play gamelan. There was a set of gamelan that the participants were learning: sleko, peking, demung, slenthem, saron 1, saron 2, gender, kenong, gong, and bonang. Because of the limited amount of the gamelan instruments, UM iCamp 2019 participants were trying to play the gamelan in shifting with other participants. They switch each other to try playing the other tools in every new line of notation so that each participant could learn how to play every instrument of the gamelan.

In playing gamelan, there were some rules they must obey as below.
1. It is prohibited to step over gamelan. Gamelan players must pass the gamelan from its right or left side. If there is no space to pass, he/she should move the gamelan a little bit to make space. It is to teach respect and prevent possible physical damage of the instruments.
2. The way of sitting: males should sit cross-legged (sila) and females should sit with legs bent at the side (timpuh).
3. How to hold the tabuh (the tool for striking the instruments – there is a ring on the tabuh to put our thumbs while holding the tabuh.
4. It is not ‘beating’ the gamelan, but it is ‘striking’ the gamelan by using tabuh.
5. While playing the gamelan, they had to hold the instrumenti to control the vibration so that the instruments are not echoing (making some noise). Hit first, and then hold it.

The UM iCamp 2019 participants were playing the gamelan in harmony. They also helped each other to play the gamelan, so did the committee helping participants. Broaden Your Vistas, Elevate Your Global Endeavour. Playing gamelan was one of the new things they learned through UM iCamp 2019. Hopefully, the participants can share this experience to others so that there are more people, both local and international, to learn gamelan and gain new experience like the participants did. Learning new cultures is to add someone’s knowledge.

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