Indonesian Classical Music from Sunda (West Java)

Here is some wonderful classical Indonesian music from West Java. The music is still very popular in Java and wherever you go in the country you can always hear the melodious music being played, and also find classical concerts to attend.

The music here is by the Kacapi Suling Instrumental Ensemble, and is being embedded from the Asian Classical Music in MP3 Format page, which also provides the notes. For more music from all over Asia, and for more information about it please visit their website.

Arum-Bandung-from-SundaThe province of Sunda in West Java experienced an amazing resurgence of interest in its own musical traditions in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. Centered on the city of Bandung, this renewed vitality led to the nation-wide (and world-wide) popularity of traditional genres like Kacapi Suling and modern ones like jaipongan.

Kacapi Suling is usually played at interludes between songs in a performance of the classical song-form Tembang Sunda. The term refers to the two plucked string instruments and the flute. There is a higher-pitched kacapi rincik, a lower-pitched kacapi indung and the suling ornamenting the melody.

During a dinner-to-dawn house concert of Tembang Sunda, instrumental pieces like these would offer light interludes between the weightiness of the songs. The pieces are in two scales. The first four are in laras pelog, conveying a lighter mood, while the next four are in laras sorog, a more somber mood. This change of key usually occurs around midnight, and lasts until dawn.

Arum Bandung:

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Arang Arang/Renggong Gede:

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Nimang/Kaleran:

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Senggot/Tokecang/Tilam Sono:

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Gawil:

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Karanginan:

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Bungur:

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Sinyur:

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5 comments to Indonesian Classical Music from Sunda (West Java)

  • Victor Poole

    Dear Bhante Anandajoti,
    Sunda is the Indonesian name of the people and their language, who live in the Province of West Java. We would refer to them as Sundanese. The Degung and Suling music is my favorite in Indonesia.
    Metta cittena,
    Victor Poole.

  • Thank you very much for your article and material. I would use a file of yours here into my website, shouwing your name of course.
    http://indonesiainviaggio.weebly.com/

  • I lived with my family in INdonesia (Jakarta) 1980-1985 and travelled to 11 provinces from West Java to Sumatra. I love the INdonesian music. We, Filipinos, share the similar lilting, island freedom in music and movements. This is a great addition to my collection. Thanks.

  • Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying
    this info.

  • Michelle Chu

    Not sure if your the Victor Harold Poole i know from Philippines but its worth a try if my name is familiar to you comment back.

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