This is a photo of Gamelan.
Returning from extremely tiring Prambanan Temple photoshoot we decided to have our dinner in this exotic restaurant called Prince Joyokusumo’s House Gadri Resto Boutique and Gallery. It’s located within the innermost group of buildings in Kraton. I kind of liked the atmosphere of this restaurant and its air of Antiquity. If you do visit Yogyakarta don’t forget to come to this restaurant and experience it for yourself.
The Gamelan :
Gamelan is the traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments used are metallophones played by mallets and a set of hand-played drums called kendhang which register the beat. Other instruments include xylophones, bamboo flutes, a bowed instrument called a rebab, and even vocalists called sindhen.
Although the popularity of gamelan has declined since the introduction of pop music, gamelan is still commonly played on formal occasions and in many traditional Indonesian ceremonies. For most Indonesians, gamelan is an integral part of Indonesian culture.
The gamelan predates the Hindu-Buddhist culture that dominated Indonesia in its earliest records and thus represents an indigenous art form. The instruments developed into their current form during the Majapahit Empire. In contrast to the heavy Indian influence in other art forms, the only obvious Indian influence in gamelan music is in the Javanese style of singing, and in the themes of the Wayang kulit (shadow puppet plays).
In Javanese mythology, the gamelan was created by Sang Hyang Guru in Saka era 167 (c. AD 230), the god who ruled as king of all Java from a palace on the Maendra mountain in Medang Kamulan (now Mount Lawu). He needed a signal to summon the gods and thus invented the gong. For more complex messages, he invented two other gongs, thus forming the original gamelan set.
The earliest image of a musical ensemble is found on the 8th century Borobudur temple, Central Java. Musical instruments such as the bamboo flute, bells, drums in various sizes, lute, and bowed and plucked string instruments were identified in this image. However it lacks metallophones and xylophones. Nevertheless, the image of this musical ensemble is suggested to be the ancient form of the gamelan.
In the palaces of Java the oldest known ensembles, Gamelan Munggang and Gamelan Kodok Ngorek, are apparently from the 12th century. These formed the basis of a “loud style” of music. In contrast, a “soft style” developed out of the kemanak tradition and is related to the traditions of singing Javanese poetry, in a manner often believed to be similar to the chorus that accompanies the modern bedhaya dance. In the 17th century, these loud and soft styles mixed, and to a large extent the variety of modern gamelan styles of Bali, Java, and Sunda resulted from different ways of mixing these elements. Thus, despite the seeming diversity of styles, many of the same theoretical concepts, instruments, and techniques are shared between the styles.
The Kraton :
Kraton or Keraton is the Javanese word for a royal palace. Its name is derived from ka-ratu-an which means the residence of ratu. Ratu is the traditional honorific title to refer the “ruler” (king or queen). In Java, the palace of a prince is called puro or dalem. The general word to designate a palace is istana, as in Indonesian and Malay. Its .
The construction of Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat or Kraton Yogyakarta was started by Sultan Hamengku Buwono I in 1755 and its like a city within a city. There are more or less 25’000 people in residence within its walls and about 500-1000 people is still employed by the current Sultan. It’s the heart of Yogyakarta city, it has its own shopping gallery, market, and home industries producing batik and silverware. The central part where the current Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X (from 1998) resides was built in the year 1755-56. The architecture is one of the finest examples of Javanese palace, providing a series of luxurious halls and spacious courtyards and pavilions.
The caretakers still wears traditional Javanese attire and they still follow the original rules and regulation of the Kraton. Currently, a large part of Kraton is used as a museum. On special occasions traditional dances and cultural performances still takes place in Kraton.
Urban legend has it that the residence of the Sultan of Jogja is guarded by many unseen creatures, so anyone who visits the palace should maintain good attitude. According to local beliefs, those who have malicious intentions will get some “warnings” from the invisible palace guards.
More photos of Yogyakarta here.
Our group trip photos in Instagram.