The Rhythm of Gamelan
TEMPO.CO, Kudus - The rhythm of gamelan flowing sweet from behind the walls of an old building. More than ten students of Undaan Lor elementary school, Kudus, Central Java were practicing the Javanese traditional music that morning. Their little hands played the complex gamelan into a melodious music.
“I’ve become more confident,” said 11-year-old Diva, a student who played percussion instrument gendang on Thursday, June 25.
“I have to be patient and focus with the gamelan played by my friends. If not, it won’t be harmonious.”
Encouraged by his teacher to participate in a Karawitan competition, Diva practiced the traditional art since he was in the fourth grade. He won the competition and grew fond of the art. He wants to be a karawitan musician in the future.
“We are here to practice and to play, and meeting friends is fun,” Diva said.
In addition to practicing the gamelan, the students are also given information relating to the art and its development in Indonesia. History shows that karawitan had existed in Indonesia long before Hindu influences entered.
Unfortunately as the time goes by, Javanese karawitan and gamelan are forgotten by its own people and getting more popular among European and American society.
The condition has inspired Fandelan, a retired karawitan musician, to teach the traditional art in schools. He is hoping that the children grow love for this art.
“Teaching about art is not only about the art existence. But it also gives a big influence to the children’s development,” said the 63-year-old artist.
In addition to introduce richness of the country’s cultures, the art can even grow children’s confidence.