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Popular West Java Regional Musical Instruments

West Java regional musical instruments have their own characteristics compared to musical instruments from other regions. Nowadays, we are perhaps more familiar with modern musical instruments, such as guitar, piano, violin and so on. But before these various modern musical instruments emerged, there were already traditional musical instruments.

More and more traditional cultures are being abandoned, including  regional musical instruments. However, there are still many younger generations who participate in the preservation of traditional tools from West Java, such as angklung and flute. Both musical instruments are often made as traditional musical instruments.

In fact, there are many other regional musical instruments that should be proud and preserved so that our children and children’s children can get to know the instrument later. That’s why we will review the most popular  traditional musical instruments from West Java through the article below.



Rebabs Magħmulin mir-Ram

This musical instrument from West Java has existed since the 9th century AD and still lives to this day. While sailing, Middle Eastern traders brought rebabs to Indonesia. This musical instrument made of copper has 3 strings or strings as a sound producer.

With the passage of time, there was a change in the basic material to make rebabs that were originally made of copper and there are now many rebabs made of wood with a crossbow-like shape. The way you play is to turn the strings, like when you play a modern musical instrument, that is, the violin.

 Flute Musical Instruments Made of Bamboo

Next up is West Javanese’s most popular musical instrument, which is called the flute.   This musical instrument made of bamboo or wood is played by inflating the available holes. In addition to the inflatable holes, there are also holes to adjust the tone so that the number of holes varies, ranging from 4 to 8.

The number of holes is adjusted according to the requirements of the song to be played. Most West Javanese flutes have 4 holes according to sundanese songs that are often played. The existence of the flute is very important as a musical instrument because it is able to give tunes to song singing so that traditional tones that are very thick are heard.

Single Karinding

A typical West Javanese musical instrument that is no less popular is karinding.   This unique musical instrument should be placed on the lips to play it. Then, you can pat the bat to produce sound resonance from the friction of the handle and fingertips that harness the instrument.

Bamboo is often used as a material for caring, although there is also carinding from palm tree fronds. Usually, carinding from palm trees is used for men, while Karingan from bamboo is used for women. In the past, karinding was not only used as a musical instrument, but as a midge in rice fields.

 Calung Musical Instruments

Many people cannot distinguish between calung and another traditional West Javanese musical instrument , that is, angklung because it looks the same at first glance. Calung is made of wulung awi type bamboo or black bamboo and there is also a calung made from another type of bamboo, bamboo ater.

This instrument is played according to the type of calung, whether it is calung jinjing or calung rantay. The carry-on calung is played using only the right hand, while the left hand is to hold the calung. Calung rantay played with both hands hitting him. The way the player stands should be cross-legged to facilitate hand movement.

Angklung  Multitonali u Double-Pitched

Although you are not West Javanese, you definitely already know this traditional instrument because it is often exhibited as one of the  popular  traditional musical instruments  from West Java.   This tool made of bamboo is also known as multitonal or double-pitched.

How to play seems easy too, that is, by shaking the instrument . The bamboo body impact becomes a source of sound production with different tones, depending on the angklung used. Because the overall vibration of the musical instrument is capable of producing sound, angklung is classified as an idiot instrument.

Tarawangsa Similar to Rebab

In appearance, you may seeangsa has similarities to a rebab, but the difference is that the number of tarwangsa strings is just two pieces. Unlike the rebab that has three strings so you can already distinguish the two musical instruments from West Java more easily and quickly.

Although you have two strings, you can only play one sequence by sliding it. Meanwhile, the other chords are played using one’s left index finger. Tarawangsa is often played with other musical instruments, such as Jentreng to produce such beautiful notes or melodies.

Traditional Musical Instruments, Lute

Another interesting West Javanese folk musical instrument is the harp. In the Sundanese tembang, the presence of the lute as an accompanying instrument is very important. This is related to the two functions of the harp, namely the mother’s harp and the harp of the child when accompanying traditional Sundanese music, so it is important to know the harp.

The parent harp is tasked with determining the tempo, starting the music and the harp used usually has 18-20 strings. In contrast to the boy’s lyre which serves as an accompaniment to high-frequency music. The number of chords there is less, which is 15 pieces compared to the number of chords for the parent lyre.

 Arumba Traditional Musical Instruments

Another musical instrument from West Java that we should learn is the arumba. For some people, they may still be unfamiliar with the name of this  traditional musical instrument, especially for people outside West Java. Arumba belongs to the ensemble group or a combination of various musical instruments at once.

This musical instrument is made of quality bamboo, for example black bamboo (wulung), bamboo rope or awi bamboo temen. Although it’s a combination of various musical instruments, it finally becomes a musical and a separate kind of music that we know from some traditional West Java songs.

Jenglong as a basic sound producer

Another West Javanese musical instrument that should not be missed is the Jenglong. Jenglong serves as a basic song frame or sound maker so that his role is very important in playing traditional West Javanese music. Despite this, many of us are unfamiliar with this  musical instrument from the West Java region  .

A special bat is used to hit Jenglong to produce sound or sound. The beater used in this musical instrument is made of special material to produce the right sound. Usually, these bats have upholstery to make them more tender, whether from wool or knitted threads.

 Bamboo Leather Celempung

Finally, we will find out a traditional tool called celempung made of bamboo leather. The sound is produced using resonance on the segments of the bamboo stick. That is why it is not easy to make this  traditional musical instrument because each rod must have a different shape and size of internodes.

Celempung has two strings with different functions, namely strings for pelog tones and strings for slendro tones so they can be used for a longer Siteran. In addition to celempung, a siter is also often used in gamelan siteran instruments as a feature that is still preserved to this day.

There are still many  traditional musical instruments that you can find from West Java with their own uniqueness.  So, don’t stop to keep getting to know the typical West Javanese musical instruments.