K.K. Harjamulya

Acquired: during the Reign of Sultan Hamengku Buwana VI
Type of Gamelan: common practice–modernized
Tuning: pélog

The gendèr barung of the gamelan K.K. Harjanegara. The two gendèr barung of the gamelan K.K. Harjamulya share the same carving motif and color combination.

K.K. Harjamulya (“prosperous glory”) was purchased by the Sixth Sultan during his reign from Raden Tummenggung Kertanegara, his commander of the palace troops.[1] At that time, K.K. Harjamulya, a pre-modern gamelan pélog, was known as K.K. Tummenggung (“tumenggung” is a palace rank) and was paired with the gamelan sléndro K.K. Riya (“riya” is also a palace rank), which was acquired at the same time and from the same source.[2] K.K. Tummenggung came to be paired with the gamelan sléndro K.K. Harjanegara by the Eighth Sultan, who had these sets modernized, commissioned new matching casings for both, and renamed K.K. Tumenggung to K.K. Harjamulya. Prior to the pairing of these two sets, K.K. Tumenggung was used, along with K.K. Riya, to accompany palace dance and dance drama entertainments, and that appears to have been its primary role throughout the reign of the Eighth Sultan. Since the reign of the Ninth Sultan (1940-1988) the new pairing of K.K. Harjanegara-K.K. Harjamulya has been used in rotation with four or five other sléndro-pélog pairings for uyon-uyon Hadiluhung, concerts that celebrate the weton of the reigning Sultan and that are broadcast live over the government radio station in Yogyakarta (R.R.I. Yogyakarta). They have also been used to accompany dance (beksan), dance drama (wayang wong), and shadow-puppet theatre (wayang kulit) performances for both private and public palace celebrations.

The only available source listing the pre-modern instrumentation of K.K. Harjamulya indicates that the set had two saron demung and four saron ricik.[3] This is interesting because a slightly later inventory that details its post-modernization instrumentation lists three saron demung, six saron ricik, and one saron peking, an accounting that corresponds to the current makeup of this gamelan in 2016.[4] This discrepancy cannot be resolved with the available sources, but perhaps when K.K. Harjanegara and K.K. Harjamulya were paired the keys of one saron demung and two saron ricik of the former set were retuned and transferred to the latter set (the pre-modern K.K. Harjanegara supposedly had four saron demung and eight saron ricik). The saron peking is an addition to K.K. Harjamulya that went unacknowledged in the the earlier source (Kertanegara 1889A), as did the additional saron demungsaron ricik, and a gambang gangsa. Prior to its modernization, K.K. Harjamulya included the other standard pre-modern instruments for a gamelan pélog–one slentho, one each of all three sizes of bonang, two gendèr barung, two gambang kayu, one kethuk, two kenong jaler, one kenong japan, one kempul, and two gong ageng. The modernization of this set during the reign of the Eighth Sultan added to the above the following: one clempung, one gendèr panembung, two gendèr penerus, four kenong jaler, four kempul, three gong siyem, and a kempyang.[5] When K.K. Harjamulya is set up together with K.K. Harjanegara for performance, only one gong ageng from each set is hung from a common stand. I am not aware of where the other two gong ageng are now located or if they are still used with these sets. Conceivably, one or both of them might have been reassigned to other sets.

Prior to the pairing of K.K. Tumenggung and K.K. Harjanegara during the reign of the Eighth Sultan, these two sets did not at all look alike. Though both were bright red (abrit sepuh) with gold edging and highlight, the carving motif of K.K. Tumenggung was a horse framed by mirong (wings) over sparse vegetation while that of K.K. Harjanegara was entirely vegetation. As K.K. Tumenggung became K.K. Harjamulya, its new casings were given the decorative motif of K.K. Harjanegara. However, their new identically carved casings were not given the same base color. According to a palace manuscript from the 1940s[6], K.K. Harjanegara was its current color (sawo mateng), K.K. Harjamulya a vibrant rich blue (biru sepuh), both sets with gold highlight against a red background. As recently as the early 1990s they were still painted these colors, but by 1999 K.K. Harjamulya had been repainted sawo mateng to match K.K. Harjanegara. The new casings made during the reign of the Eighth Sultan for the gendèr-instruments of these two sets are nearly identical to those of the gamelan pusaka K.K. Kancilbelik, with the only significant difference beyond their base colors being that the figural motif of a mouse deer in a pond on the K.K. Kancelbelik gendèr is not found on Harjanegara-Harjamulya. The rest of the new (and current) casings of K.K. Harjamulya are characterized by vegetation motifs (lunglungan) that on many panels are carved all the way through the wood. This adds a spectacular three-dimensional quality to the casings. Included on the front boards of the gendèr-type instuments is the royal emblem of the Eighth Sultan. In recent years caps that also feature the Hamengku Buwana lambang (without the numeral “8”) have been added to the cross beams of all the gong racks (gayor) of both of these gamelans.[7]

Two short audio examples of K.K. Harjamulya are provided, the first exemplifying its sound when played in the robust soran style (involving only its saron-, bonang-, gong-, and kendhang-type instruments), the second its sound in the calmer and dynamically softer lirehan style (for which its entire instrumentation plus male and female singers are involved).

gong ageng (2)
gong siyem/suwukan (3)
kempul (6)
kenong jaler (6)
kenong japan (1)
kethuk (1)
kempyang (1)
bonang penembung (1)
bonang barung (1)
bonang penerus (1)
saron demung (3)
saron ricik/barung (6)
saron peking (1)
slentho (1)
gendèr penembung/slenthem (1)
gendèr barung (2)
gendèr penerus (2)
gambang gongsa/gangsa (1)
gambang kayu (2)
clempung/celempung (1)
kendhang ageng/gendhing (1)
kendhang ketipung (1)
kendhang alit/batangan (1)
suling (1)
bendhé (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
bedhug (1, shared with K.K. Harjanegara)
rebab (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
siter (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
kemanak (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
kecèr (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
keprak (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
tambur (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)

Audio and Video Clips:

Audio 1 [excerpt of gendhing Lung Gadhung, from Javanese Court Gamelan, Vol. III. One CD, Nonesuch 79722-2, track 2.]

Audio 2 [excerpt of gendhing Rangu-rangu, from Javanese Court Gamelan, Vol. III. One CD, Nonesuch 79722-2, track 4.]

The gamelans K.K. Harjanegara and K.K. Harjamulya set up in Bangsal Kasatriyan in December 2016.