19.3.12

Gamelan of Sumedang Larang

Prabu Geusan Ulun Museum in Sumedang houses at least 7 sets of gamelan instruments made around 17-19th century. Each has its own unique story, especially these two below.


Gamelan Prawan

Gamelan Sari Oneng Mataram was a present from Mataram kingdom. Story has it that this set of beautiful instrument was won over a candlenut match between the commander of Sumedang and Mataram during the rule of Pangeran Rangga Gempol III (1656 -1706).  
As you can see from its name, this set of gamelan is obviously a Javanese one. Made in Mataram, the carving shows a strong character of Mataram style, and the tone is pelog. 
Gajah Mina - body of a snake with elephant head and wearing crown-
carved as the finial of the gong holder. A symbol of wisdom, a remnants of Hindu culture.

Gamelan Sari Oneng Parakan Salak
My heart was almost jumped out seeing this gamelan. Never seen such uniquely carved gamelan ever! The ancak ( body/frame) of the gamelan was carved in Thailand using ironwood so it has a chinoiserie look, and painted in blue while the metal instrument was forged in Sumedang around 1825. Some instruments have lion head in each side, while other has dragon. And you have to know this: this is the very gamelan that Claude Debussy seen and heard that inspired him to compose his masterpieces when Sari Oneng took part in Exposition Universelle in Paris, 1889.


After its big tour in Europe and USA( 1883-1898), the gong somehow left in Amsterdam, until a century later, when the Gong Gede was finally returned.

The Lost - and found- gong of Gamelan Sari Oneng Parakan Salak

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