K.K. Harjanegara

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

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. Harjanegara (“prosperous kingdom”) was either commissioned or purchased as a separate gamelan sléndro by the Sixth Sultan when he was still the Crown Prince.[1] During his reign as the Sixth Sultan (1855-1877), K.K. Harjanegara was paired with the gamelan pélog K.K. Panji, a set acquired by the Fifth Sultan. These two sets were, from the reign of the Sixth Sultan until the beginning of the reign of the Eighth Sultan, used for entertainments marking the Sultan’s weton (the coincidence of days in the 5- and 7-day Javanese weeks on which a person is born; this coincidence recurs every thirty-five days), celebrating life-cycle ceremonies of the Sultan’s children other than the crown prince, welcoming important guests, and accompanying dance theatre (ringgit tiyang or wayang wong) rehearsals and performances. During the reign of the Eighth Sultan, K.K. Harjanegara had its original pre-modern instrumentation filled out and was paired with a different palace gamelan pélog, K.K. Tummenggung, a set dating back to the reign of the Sixth Sultan.[2] K.K. Tummenggung was also a pre-modern common practice gamelan that underwent additions of instruments to make it fully modern during the the reign of the Eighth Sultan. It was, at that time, given a new name–K.K. Harjamulya. The casings made for K.K. Harjanegara and K.K. Harjamulya at the time of their modernization and newly established association with one another were identical in design but not in color (see below). Thus the half-century long association between K.K. Harjanegara and K.K. Panji came to an end and the latter set was placed in storage for many decades to come. Since the reign of the Ninth Sultan (1940-1988) the new pairing of K.K. HarjanegaraK.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. Harjanegara indicates that the set had four saron demung, eight saron ricik, and one saron peking.[3] This is interesting because a slightly later inventory that details its post-modernization instrumentation lists only 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, which in its pre-modern form had only two saron demung and four saron ricik. Prior to its modernization, K.K. Harjanegara included the other standard pre-modern instruments for a gamelan sléndro–one gambang gangsa, one slentho, one each of all three sizes of bonang, one gendèr barung, one 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, one gendèr penerus, three kenong jaler, three kempul, and three gong siyem.[5] Currently (in 2016) this set also includes a kemong, but I do not know when this addition was made. When K.K. Harjanegara is set up together with K.K. Harjamulya 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. Harjanegara and K.K. Tumenggung 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. Harjanegara was entirely vegetation while that of K.K. Tumenggung was a horse framed by mirong (wings) over sparse 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. Harjanegara 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. Harjanegara 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 (4)
kenong jaler (5)
kenong japan (1)
kethuk (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 (1)
gendèr penerus (1)
gambang gongsa/gangsa (1)
gambang kayu (1)
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. Harjamulya)
rebab (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
siter (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
kecèr (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)
keprak (general use instrument shared with other gamelans)

Audio and Video Clips:

Audio 1 [excerpt of gendhing Sumyar, from Javanese Court Gamelan, Vol. III. One CD, Nonesuch 79722-2, track 3.]

Audio 2 [excerpt of gendhing Lambangsari, from Javanese Court Gamelan, Vol. III. One CD, Nonesuch 79722-2, track 5.]

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